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Opinions & Interviews

22 Apr 2020

Belarus follows WHO treatment guidelines for COVID-19

Belarus follows WHO treatment guidelines for COVID-19
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MINSK, 22 April (BelTA) – Belarusian healthcare workers are following the WHO treatment guidelines for COVID-19, Igor Karpov, the head of the infectious diseases department of Belarusian State Medical University, Lead Clinician for Infectious Diseases (non-staff) of the Healthcare Ministry, said during a live stream on the YouTube channel of the National Press Center, BelTA has learned.

“We are currently using the WHO recommendations. They are still sketchy," said Igor Karpov.

According to him, there is currently no etiotropic treatment to eliminate this particular virus. HIV drugs, which were initially discussed as a possible treatment, fell short of the expectations. “Now they write more often about chloroquine, its combination with Azithromycin, which is recommended in our country for certain cases,” he said. However, as the data on COVID-19 treatment are accumulated, the clinical protocols will be reviewed.

Igor Karpov explained the differences between bacterial and viral pneumonia. In the first case, the microorganism causes a local inflammatory process, despite general intoxication, temperature, deterioration of the patient's overall health. To diagnose bacterial pneumonia, the doctor listens for abnormal chest sounds and orders chest X-rays to confirm the presence and extent of the infection. In the case of viral pneumonia, particularly the one caused by coronavirus, the process is diffuse rather than local. Computed tomography shows a corresponding clinical picture with diffuse lesions.

Bacterial pneumonia should in no case be considered a milder disease. For example, pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious disease. The difference is that bacterial pneumonia is treated by antibiotics, while there is no specific treatment for coronavirus infection. There is, however, some accumulated experience and recommendations for its treatment.

Complications of coronavirus infection are mainly associated with respiratory failure in elderly people and patients with other chronic illnesses or weakened immune system. Extra-pulmonary complications occur much less frequently. Acute renal failure is not common. Polyorgan failure syndrome is possible when there are functional disorders in different organs and systems. Neurological manifestations are extremely rare.

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