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Opinions & Interviews

12 May 2020

Lukashenko calls for extraordinary efforts to save lives

Lukashenko calls for extraordinary efforts to save lives

MINSK, 12 May (BelTA) – What matters most under the current epidemiological conditions is saving people’s lives, not coronavirus statistics, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a government meeting in Minsk on 12 May, BelTA has learned.

“We will continue treating people and see what happens next. Since I have raised the issue, I would like to warn that everyone will be hold responsible for the mortality rate in the country. All those statistics, both COVID-19 and even pneumonia figures, will soon go away and will be forgotten. The people, who died and whom we could have saved but did not, is an absolutely different thing. The Healthcare Ministry and doctors must be strictly required to do everything possible to save people's lives. I have recently talked about it in the church, and I am taking the matter under close control,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that the more tests are carried out, the more cases of the virus are recorded. The main thing, however, is to focus attention on pneumonia cases, and not only because of the coronavirus. “Yesterday I gave instructions to prepare a forecast on pneumonia, not on COVID-19 (we have this forecast already), on all pneumonia cases, not only the COVID-19 ones. For us, and not only for us, the number one issue is the treatment of pneumonia,” the head of state said.

As for pneumonia, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that there is no such an increase in cases in Belarus as it was even two to three weeks ago. “God help us to keep the level,” the head of state said.

He also touched upon the recent media reports that doctors, particularly in Grodno Oblast, allegedly discharged untreated people from hospitals to continue their treatment in health resorts. “I want everybody to understand that we treat people in hospitals, and my strict requirement for the Healthcare Ministry and the hospital staff is not to keep recovering patients in hospitals for too long,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that the closed environment of infectious disease hospitals puts psychological pressure on people, given the impossibility to even go outside. “Therefore, if there is a positive dynamics in treatment in the hospital and attending physicians see that a person feels good, we transfer such patients to a sanatorium and a health resort to continue treatment. I gave the appropriate instructions for Aksakovshchina [Clinical Hospital of Medical Rehabilitation] and the hospital for the Great Patriotic War disabled veterans in Minsk,” the president said.

He added that the matter concerns after-treatment, and not the treatment itself.

The third level is the patients who are observed at home, the president continued. This is the case of asymptomatic patients when there is no risk to infect others. “In Minsk, for example, there are about 270 brigades that control a certain number of such patients in their districts. If there is any deterioration in their state, they are immediately hospitalized,” said the Belarusian leader.

“This is how it works and such a strategy has proven effective. As soon as we see that a person gets sick, we immediately start testing their contacts and isolate them. It is a method to combat the virus locally. This is a feature of today's virus treatment in Belarus, and we have taken a step-by-step approach to work out such a system,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

He added that the response to the morbidity in Belarus depends on the developing situation, and this method has already brought its results.

“Let us work in this direction calmly and without hysteria,” the head of state said. He added that in the near future this mode of work will be monitored at various levels.

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