On 9 June, Belarus reached another milestone – 50,000 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak. According to the Healthcare Ministry, we have already passed the peak and should expect a smooth decline following a smooth growth.
Since first being recorded late last year in China, the COVID-19 coronavirus has spread around the planet, Belarus included. Countries took different approaches in fighting the deadly virus which obviously resulted in different outcomes.
Belarus and others
Recall that in March, the countries neighboring Belarus closed their borders and introduced a quarantine. Many of them are gradually phasing out lockdown and easing other restrictive measures.
Since 1 June, Lithuania has opened its borders for the citizens coming from European countries, where less than 15 new cases per 100 thousand of the population over the past two weeks are recorded. In this case, travelers won’t need to isolate themselves for two weeks.
In Lithuania itself, about 250 new cases have been confirmed over the past month. In total – 1,727 since the start of the epidemic. In the first days of June, from 0 to 8 new cases per day have been registered in Latvia. The total number of cases is 1,089 since the outbreak.
In Ukraine, the first case was registered on 3 March. As of 9 June, there are 27,856 cases, 394 new ones have been confirmed in the 24 hours. The country is gradually easing a quarantine and opening its borders. On 15 June, Ukraine plans to restore international air traffic.
In the 37 millionth Poland, the total number of people infected with coronavirus was 27,160 people (as of 8 June). In recent days, approximately 600 new cases have been recorded in the country. Before this, 300-400 per day were registered for several weeks.
The largest number of cases was registered in Russia – more than 485,000 cases. Over the past day, it has increased by 8,595 new cases. According to the virologist, Professor Anatoly Altstein, the peak of the epidemic in the country has already been passed.
What to expect?
Even such an exact science as mathematics can’t give a comprehensive answer to this question. Belarusian scientists Pavel Grinchuk and Sergey Fisenko, both doctors of physical and mathematical sciences, analyzed statistics on the incidence of COVID-19 in Belarus.
Initially, according to the scientists, a decline in the incidence was expected after 4 May. If that were the case, on 9 June the country would have 34,276 COVID-19 cases and just over 200 new ones per day. In the updated report, the peak of the epidemic was expected from 28 April to 9 May.
Based on the calculations, it was assumed that the total number of cases this spring and summer will be 44,000. According to Pavel Grinchuk, prediction accuracy cannot be 100%, since there are factors which cannot always be taken into account during the epidemic.
The error can be from 10 to 15%. However, these data provide a general idea of the further development of the epidemic. Recently, scientists have reported that the COVID-19 peak incidence occurred between 28 April and 25–29 May, when more than 800 new cases were recorded per day.
Mathematical calculations showed that the total number of cases in Belarus can reach 56,000 people. Meanwhile the real situation in the country continues to outstrip the predictions. Scientists have hypothesized that three conditionally independent epidemic waves are developing in Belarus.
They arose at different times in settlements with different population densities. This may explain such a long lasting plateau observed in the country. According to new calculations, there will be just over 10 new cases per day only at the very end of summer.
For example, a mathematical model showed that on 31 August, 12 new cases of COVID-19 can be registered, and the total number of cases will exceed 68,000.
Irina Glinskaya, the Deputy Chief Physician of Belarus’ National Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health, earlier stressed that the heat wave will not lead to a sharp decrease in the incidence of coronavirus.
It is recommended that people still follow the recommendations of the Healthcare Ministry, observe the mask regime in public transport, in stores and other places of mass crowding, as well as wearing glasses to reduce the risk of catching the infection.