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Opinions & Interviews

20 Mar 2020

Lukashenko: Coronavirus situation in Belarus does not require draconian measures

Lukashenko: Coronavirus situation in Belarus does not require draconian measures

MINSK DISTRICT, 20 March (BelTA) – The situation related to the spread of the novel coronavirus in Belarus does not require sweeping measures, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the media as he visited Adani Company on 20 March, BelTA has learned.

“People must learn self-responsibility and also to take care of those around them. If you have a cough and a running nose, stay at home, do not spread the infection. This is the essence. Many countries have been imposing the appropriate tough measures,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state said that the current situation in Belarus does not require draconian measures. However, there is no room for complacency, the president added. 

The head of state criticized people who, upon the arrival home, do not tell that they were at-risk countries. He cited a businessman who came home from Italy and asked for medical help when he was already in critical condition. Over 300 people who might have come in contact with him were isolated. “OK, you have gone abroad, visited Germany, Italy and France. But when you come back, speak about it honestly. We will do all necessary checks if needed,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president once again called the situation with the coronavirus a “psychosis”. “It was a plan to turn everything upside down. I am happy, however, for our specialists, who, without a vaccine and knowledge how to treat the virus, have not lost a patient to it,” he said. In his words, this year fewer people died from pneumonia than in early 2019.

The head of state also displayed a lack of understanding towards the Belarusians, who, despite the dangerous situation, go on holiday abroad. “Now they are addressing embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking for help to get home. We cannot bring 10,000 people home in one day,” he said. The president has tasked the government and the relevant agencies to help people, including Russians, to return to their homeland. “By the way, Russians have not allowed our people on board in Thailand. I am sure we will come to an agreement here. It is easy for Russia to do this. Yet, such indifferent attitude might do much harm. This is all about ‘integration’," said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The president called upon Belarusians not to panic and not to storm shops. “We have enough food products. Once Russians closed the border, their retailers addressed us: “Give us food as we are facing a deficit here. Of course, we prepare and ship batches, but the price is different,” he said.

According to the head of state, Belarusians do not suffer from such ‘psychosis’ as people in Western countries. Aleksandr Lukashenko hopes that when the period of acute viral infections is over, coronavirus cases will go down as well.

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