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Healthcare Ministry: No grounds for COVID-19 panic in Belarus

23.03.2020

There are no grounds for COVID-19 panic in Belarus, Deputy Health Minister Yelena Bogdan told reporters, BelTA has learned.

“The situation is completely under control. There are no reasons for panic. We are working on isolating first-level contacts for 14 days in our institutions and second-level contacts if they show signs of the viral infection,” Yelena Bogdan said.

According to her, 22 people have tested negative and have completed or are completing treatment in healthcare institutions. Fifty-nine people are under medical observation. The patient with moderate symptoms is showing positive dynamics.

Yesterday, another case of coronavirus infection was detected in Gomel Oblast as all severe pneumonia cases are tested for COVID-19. The patient from Zhitkovichi does not require intensive care or auxiliary ventilation. Anti-epidemic activities are being carried out in the district as in all other cases. For the time being, COVID-19 cases have been detected in Grodno Oblast, Vitebsk and Minsk.

The average age of patients with COVID-19 in Belarus is 15 to 49, said Inna Karaban, deputy head of the department for hygiene, epidemiology and disease prevention at the Healthcare Ministry. The maximum number of cases has been registered in this age group. The oldest patient is 78 years old.

About 1,100 people, who were first-level contacts, have been isolated; about 8,800 second-level contacts are under medical supervision. All of them were identified in the course of the survey of patients with the confirmed diagnosis, said Inna Karaban. The internal affairs authorities were involved in some cases. By watching videos, for example, from institutions visited by a patient with COVID-19, we can identify as many of their contacts as possible in order to isolate and prevent the spread of infection in time, she added.