Coronavirus in Belarus: Do Lukashenka’s Methods Work? | Belarus: a view from Europe – special project DW | DW
More than one and a half thousand cases per day – the official statistics of the incidence of coronavirus in Belarusians have not been surprising for a long time. On September 1, 1699 new patients were recorded – this is not far from the values for the entire time of the pandemic. At the same time, according to the Ministry of Health, daily mortality from COVID-19 rarely exceeds 10 people. The percentage of vaccinated in Belarus is one of the lowest in Europe – 1.36 million people (about 14.6% of the population) have completed the full course. Recall that there is no quarantine in the country, and they consider their experience in combating coronavirus successful. Is it really? Do Belarusians trust the statistics of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus and vaccines against coronavirus?
You can come to Belarus for vaccination without a visa
According to the Ministry of Health, as of September 1, 483,231 people “with a positive test for COVID-19” have been registered in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, and 3,791 patients “with diagnosed coronavirus infection” have died.
Last year, the Belarusian authorities have repeatedly stated that they were able to defeat the coronavirus. But the pandemic was sometimes remembered, for example, when they did not receive parcels in isolation wards for administrative detainees or were closed at the exit borders of Belarus. At the same time, the entry of foreigners into the country is practically unlimited, and since July 15, citizens of 73 states have been allowed a visa-free visit to Belarus for vaccination against COVID-19.
“Once again, I want to assure everyone: we are coping with this misfortune – coronavirus – today,” Alexander Lukashenko noted at a meeting on the development of antiviral vaccines on August 12. – We vaccinate our population for free and accept all foreigners for vaccination for little money. “. Now Belarus is creating its own vaccine against coronavirus, which, according to Lukashenka, can be” adapted to any strain. “
Let us remind you that Belarus became the first foreign country to register the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. And at the end of March, its industrial production began at the Belmedpreparaty enterprise. Today in Belarus it is possible to vaccinate with “Sputnik V” of both Belarusian and Russian production, in addition to the vaccination of the Chinese company Sinopharm Vero Cell, approved by the WHO. Vaccination points work in clinics, shopping centers and even in the subway.
Doctor: everything that the authorities are trying to implement causes skepticism
“Despite the low percentage of people vaccinated against coronavirus, there was no sharp outbreak of the new strain in Belarus. This is due to the fact that during the pandemic, more than 50% of the country’s population acquired natural immunity.” Clinical Hospital of Minsk Igor Tabolich. In the first wave of coronavirus, he openly told reporters about the situation with the incidence in Belarus. Tabolich took part in protests against the results of the presidential elections, was detained, after he left Belarus, works in Moscow.
People do not trust the Belarusian “Sputnik V”. “I don’t share the skepticism about the Belarusian-made vaccine, because the production at Belarusian enterprises will harm it in some way.”
Do Belarusians trust coronavirus vaccines?
“In principle, I am not vaccinated with Russian drugs, neither against the flu, nor against the coronavirus. For flu – only French, for corona – it would be Pfizer, but there is only a Chinese vaccine to choose from. I would not get vaccinated yet, “admits Tatiana, a teacher at one of the Minsk gymnasiums.
Another interlocutor of DW Vladimir, on the contrary, gave preference to the Russian “Sputnik V”. The man is sure that he had had the coronavirus back in November-December 2019: “I was in the hospital, one might say, I was lucky then.
“It looks like an experiment on people. She is against the coronavirus vaccination. This is due to her religious beliefs, as well as the fact that she read a lot about the dangers of vaccinations. In addition, Anna admits, she does not trust the Belarusian authorities and their proposals for vaccination.
Mortality can be official figures 16 times
“Every day in the store, transport, just on the way on foot with work, patients with other infections, I hear the same conversations:“ Ay-ay-ay, we are forced to vaccinate, this is harm, the vaccine has not been studied, they put on us How Do you think how many people survived but became disabled after suffering a coronavirus infection? “- writes an infectious disease doctor, associate professor of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the Belarusian State Medical University Nikita Solovey and the rise of Belarusians to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
In turn, Doctor of Medical Sciences Svetlana Sorokina notes that she respects the opinion of her colleague. She is confused by the changeable opinion of manufacturers about the protective effect of the vaccine, its duration, the possibility of revaccination with Sputnik after a full course of this vaccine.
Different opinions were voiced within one week, the doctor notes, which is clearly not enough for scientific research. At the same time, she emphasizes that vaccination is an effective measure to prevent infections.
Svetlana Sorokina considers it strange that the Belarusian authorities, campaigning for vaccination, on the eve of the third wave, do not introduce the simplest measures to prevent coronavirus, for example, a mandatory mask regime in transport. … – Ed.). “Schools do not introduce mask mode and distance learning, even for those who wish. Schoolchildren are not vaccinated either, ”the interlocutor notes. The necessity of even introducing the simplest protection measures in schools was voiced in appeals to the Ministry of Health and Lukashenka’s administration.