Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka does not wear a mask and keeps shaking hands; the pandemic failed to have any impact on his work schedule, presidential press secretary Natallya Eysmant told RFE/RL.
“The president is shaking hands, as he always did. You can see it with your own eyes – just turn on TV. His work activity is based on the very same principles. For example, on Fridays, a field trip is often included in the president’s working schedule,” she said.
According to her, Lukashenka’s foreign travel plan is the only thing affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. At the request of the Latvian side, the visit of the Belarusian leader to Riga was cancelled. In addition, officials have started to wash hands more frequently.
“All the guests of the Palace of Independence know that hands should be washed. They wash hands before a meeting with the president. Of course, we also do it much more frequently than before. The president also washes his hands. The president flatly prohibited carrying out any other special medical measures at the Palace of Independence,” Eysmant added.
On March 16, Lukashenka 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’.