Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has called on COVID-19 patients to hold on and stay undaunted.
On April 13, the head of state heard out a report by Health Minister Uladzimir Karanik. Ihar Serhyayenka, Head of the presidential administration, and Natallya Kachanava, Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic, were also present at the meeting.
According to Lukashenka, he wanted to know the details about ‘the coronavirus psychosis’.
“For the first time, I want to address (a lot has been said about doctors; we are grateful to those people who are spending days and nights in hospitals, who are treating patients in this dificult period) our people who are lying in hospitals and are suffering from non-respiratory diseases. I want to address all of them. There has been information in recent time that people start to give up because of this psychosis, especially the coronavirus psychosis. They say that some patients have already stopped fighting for their lives. The minister knows what it means when a person stops fighting for their life,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the Belarusian leader.
As of 12 April, 2,578 people were on hospital treatment with confirmed coronavirus infection in Belarus. The Health Ministry reports that the disease mostly takes place in a mild or medium form. However, 50 people need artificial ventilation of the lungs. By now, the number of victims has increased to 26.
Over the past month,Alyaksandr Lukashenka has repeatedly hit the international headlines due his careless attitude to the pandemic of COVID-19.
On March 16, he shared with the newly appointed officials his own ways of fighting infections, including the novel coronavirus. He advised going to a dry sauna, claiming that the virus dies at 60 degrees; more frequent handwashing, regular diet, and… drinking some vodka are also on his list. Later, he called the situation ‘psychosis and foolishness’.
“There should be no panic, all you need to do is to work. I am happy when I watch TV and see people labouring in the fields, driving tractors, and no one is talking about the virus. There the tractor will cure everyone. The field will heal us all,” he said.
On April 3, Lukashenka said that the introduction of tough quarantine measures and placing a curfew would not improve the coronavirus situation in Belarus. Previously, the Belarusian leader promised that despite the coronavirus, no festivities on the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War would be canceled. With hundreds of fans in the stands, sports competitions were held.