2020 coronavirus pandemic in Belarus

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Belarus, when the first case of COVID-19 in the country was registered in Minsk on 28 February 2020.[1]

2020 coronavirus pandemic in Belarus
COVID-19 Cases in Belarus, 13.03.2020.png
Number of confirmed cases by region (as of 8 April):
  200–699 confirmed cases
  100–199 confirmed cases
  10–99 confirmed cases
  1–9 confirmed cases
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationBelarus
First outbreakChina
Index caseMinsk
Arrival date28 February 2020
(1 month and 11 days)
Confirmed cases1066
Recovered77
Deaths
13

BackgroundEdit

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[2][3]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[4][5] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[6][4]

TimelineEdit

COVID-19 cases in Belarus  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
Date
# of cases
2020-02-28
1(n.a.)
1(=)
2020-03-03
4(300%)
2020-03-04
10(+150%)
10(=)
2020-03-12
21(+110%)
2020-03-13
27(+29%)
27(=)
2020-03-16
36(+33%)
2020-03-17
36(+0%)
2020-03-18
51(+41%)
2020-03-19
51(+0%)
2020-03-20
69(+35%)
2020-03-21
76(+10%)
2020-03-22
76(+0%)
2020-03-23
81(+6.5%)
2020-03-24
81(+0%)
2020-03-25
86(+6.2%)
2020-03-26
86(+0%)
2020-03-27
94(+9.3%)
94(=)
2020-03-30
152(+61.7%)
2020-03-31
152(+0%)
2020-04-01
163(+7.2%)
2020-04-02
304(+84%)
2020-04-03
351(+15.4%)
2020-04-04
440(+25.3%)
2020-04-05
562(+27.8%)
2020-04-06
700(+24.5%)
2020-04-07
861(+23%)
2020-04-08
1066(+23.9%)
Sources:

Notes:

  • Changes are assumed to be zero where no daily data are known.
  • The declining number of recoveries in the 30 March - 4 April period is due to the changes in counting methodology used by the officials (see 4 April in the timeline).
 
COVID-19 information and action protocols in the elevator in the National Library of Belarus (7 April 2020).

On 28 February, Belarus confirmed its first case. A student from Iran tested positive on 27 February and was admitted to a hospital in Minsk.[7][1] The individual arrived in Belarus via a flight from Baku, Azerbaijan, on 22 February.[7][8]

As of 3 March, there were 4 confirmed cases in Belarus.[9]

On 4 March, the Ministry of Health of Belarus confirmed 6 new cases of the disease: 4 cases in Minsk, 2 cases in Vitebsk.[10]

On 13 March, 27 cases were confirmed in Grodno, Gomel, Minsk, Vitebsk, and Minsk Region, including 5 students from the Faculty of International Relations of Belarusian State University.[11] Three patients were discharged from hospitals.[12][13]

On 16 March, the health ministry stated that the number of confirmed cases reached 36.[14] No new laboratory confirmed cases were reported on 17 March.[15]

As of 18 March, a total of 51 confirmed cases have been registered, including 5 recoveries and 37 cases of asymptomatic infection course.[16][17]

As of 20 March, 69 cases have been registered, including 15 recoveries and 42 cases of asymptomatic infection course.[18][19]

As of 21 March, a total of 76 confirmed cases have been reported.[20]

As of 23 March, 81 confirmed cases have been reported, including 22 recoveries. According to the official data, more than 21,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Belarus since 23 January.[21][22]

As of 25 March, a total of 86 confirmed cases have been reported, including 29 recoveries.[23]

As of 27 March, a total of 94 confirmed cases have been reported, including 32 recoveries.[24]

As of 30 March, a total of 152 confirmed cases have been reported, including 47 recoveries. More than 30,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted to date since 23 January.[25]

On 31 March, an officially unconfirmed death of a test-positive 75 years old patient in Vitebsk was reported by the media. Reportedly, the patient suffered from a chronic pulmonary decease.[26][27][28] Later that day, the first case of death due to COVID-19 was confirmed by the Ministry of Health of Belarus.[29]

On 1 April, the second death of elderly COVID-19 patient with chronic deceases was reported by the Ministry of Health. According to the report, as of 1 April 2020, there were 163 COVID-19 cases registered in Belarus, including 2 deaths and at least 47 recoveries.[30] However, the ambiguity of the latest government reports has led to unofficial counting attempts, based on the official data, according to which the actual number of COVID-19 cases in Belarus could be as high as 217.[31] On that same day, the first COVID-19 case in Brest Region was reported by the officials.[32]

On 2 April, the Ministry of Health of Belarus reported a total of 304 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 254 active cases, 46 recoveries and 4 deaths. According to the report, 11 patents require assisted ventilation and 9,299 people remain under medical observation as first- and second-level contacts.[33]

On 3 April, during a briefing of Ministry of Health officials for the press, a total of 351 confirmed cases were reported, including 190 in Minsk, 89 in Vitebsk Region, 50 in Minsk Region, 13 in Gomel Region, 6 in Grodno Region, 2 in Mogilev Region and 1 in Brest Region. According to the officials, the majority of the COVID-19 patients are in 25 to 64 years old range.[34]

On 4 April, a total of 440 confirmed cases have been reported, including 41 recovery and 5 deaths. According to the media, the declining number of recoveries is due to changes in the counting methodology used by the officials: prior to 30 March, both discharged and "preparing to be discharged" patients were reported as recovered; after the 30 March, only the discharged patients are counted as recovered.[35]

On 5 April, a total of 562 confirmed cases have been reported, including 52 recoveries and 8 deaths.[36][37]

On 6 April, a total of 700 confirmed cases have been reported, including 53 recoveries and 13 deaths. As of 6 April, more than 40,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Belarus.[38]

On 7 April, a total of 861 confirmed cases have been reported, including 54 recoveries and 13 deaths. Also, an update on epidemiological situation in the regions have been issued by the Ministry of Health: as of 7 April, there are 497 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Minsk, 91 in Minsk Region, 143 in Vitebsk Region, 32 in Gomel Region, 18 in Mogilev Region, 10 in Grodno Region and 3 in Brest Region. Vitebsk Region and Minsk are leading the deaths statistics with 5 death cases registered in each, as well as the recoveries statistics with 27 and 25 recoveries, respectively.[39] 31 COVID-19 patients require assisted ventilation as of date.[40]

On 8 April, a total of 1,066 confirmed cases have been reported, including 77 recoveries and 13 deaths. 33 COVID-19 patients require assisted ventilation as of date. An update on regional statistics has been issued, as well: 601 confirmed cases, 45 recoveries and 5 deaths in Minsk, 200/30/5 in Vitebsk Region, 104/1/3 in Minsk Region, 32/0/1 in Gomel Region, 25/0/0 in Mogilev Region, 11/0/0 in Grodno Region, 3/0/0 in Brest Region. More than 46,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Belarus since 23 January.[41]

Government responseEdit

On 16 March 2020, president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, dismissed the threat of coronavirus and encouraged working in fields and driving tractors as a way of overcoming the pandemic: "You just have to work, especially now, in a village [...] there, the tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone".[42] In his further comments on the pandemic, the Belarussian leader referred to it as "psychosis" and, on 28 March, played a game of hockey, later stating in an interview "it is better to die on our feet, than live on your knees [...] sport, especially on ice, is better than any antiviral medication, it is the real thing".[43][44] Prior to that, in an official meeting, Lukashenko proposed "poisoning" the coronavirus with vodka, as well as attending banyas as the best cure for the disease.[45]

On 25 March 2020, a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine requirement was instituted for persons entering Belarus from countries affected by the pandemic, with the exception of diplomats and their families, air crews and persons transiting Belarus on return to their home countries.[46]

As of 30 March, Belarus has not initiated a nation-wide quarantine effort.[25] That, as well as the gradual decrease in transparency of the official reports on the pandemic, led to criticism from the press and population, emphasizing absence of the up-to-date information about the territories affected by the virus, decreased update frequency and increased ambiguity of the official reports, as well as restraint of the non-governmental media from the government sessions on the epidemiological situation in the country.[47]

On 4 April, a one-week extension of spring vacation for schools was announced by the Ministry of Education of Belarus.[48]

Economic impactEdit

On 30 March 2020, Belarus and IMF started negotiations on the $900 million loan intended to compensate the economic losses from the coronavirus pandemic.[49]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Belarus announces first case of coronavirus: TASS". Reuters. 2020-02-28. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  2. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". www.wfsahq.org. Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "У Беларусі зарэгістраваны завазны выпадак каронавіруса". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  8. ^ "Four Lawmakers In Iran Test Positive As Coronavirus Forces Cancellation Of Friday Prayers". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  9. ^ "minzdrav.gov.by". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2020-03-16. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  10. ^ "minzdrav.gov.by". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2020-03-16. Retrieved 2020-03-04.
  11. ^ "Минздрав прокомментировал массовую госпитализацию студентов ФМО БГУ".
  12. ^ "Belarus has 27 cases of coronavirus: health ministry". Reuters. 13 March 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-03-16. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  13. ^ Гуштын, Адар'я (13 March 2020). "Пациентов с коронавирусом в Беларуси уже 27". Tut.by (in Russian). Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Belarus registers 36 coronavirus cases, health ministry says". TASS. 16 March 2020. Archived from the original on 2020-03-16. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
  15. ^ "Коронавирус в Беларуси. Ситуация на 17 марта". 2020-03-17. Retrieved 2020-03-17.
  16. ^ "Ситуация с коронавирусной инфекцией расценивается, как контролируемая". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  17. ^ "В Беларуси зафиксирован 51 случай коронавируса". tut.by (in Russian). 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  18. ^ "О ситуации по COVID-19". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  19. ^ "В Беларуси уже 69 случаев коронавируса, 15 пациентов выписаны". Onliner.by (in Russian). 20 March 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  20. ^ "В Беларуси уже 76 случаев коронавируса". Onliner.by (in Russian). 21 March 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  21. ^ "В Беларуси уже 81 случай коронавируса". Onliner.by (in Russian). 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  22. ^ "В Беларуси зафиксирован 81 случай заражения коронавирусом, 22 человека уже выздоровели". tut.by (in Russian). 23 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Число зараженных коронавирусом в Беларуси выросло до 86, здоровы 29 пациентов". tut.by (in Russian). 25 March 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Количество случаев коронавируса в Беларуси выросло до 94". tut.by (in Russian). 27 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  25. ^ a b "В Беларуси 152 случая коронавируса, выздоровели 47 человек". tut.by (in Russian). 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  26. ^ "В Витебске умер больной с подтвержденным коронавирусом". tut.by (in Russian). 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  27. ^ "В Беларуси умер первый человек с коронавирусом. Официального подтверждения пока нет". Onliner.by (in Russian). 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  28. ^ ""У него было хроническое заболевание легких". Коллеги умершего от коронавируса заслуженного артиста рассказывают о нем". Onliner.by (in Russian). 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  29. ^ "О ситуации с COVID-19 в Беларуси". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). 31 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  30. ^ "О ситуации с COVID-19 в Республике Беларусь". minzdrav.gov.by (in Russian). 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Минздрав: В Беларуси умер второй пациент с коронавирусом". tut.by (in Russian). 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  32. ^ "В Брестской области выявлен первый пациент c коронавирусом". tut.by (in Russian). 1 April 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  33. ^ "О ситуации с COVID-19: большинство случаев - выявленные контакты 1 и 2 уровней" (in Russian). Ministry of Health of Belarus. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  34. ^ "Минздрав дал статистику по регионам: в топе — Минск и область, а также Витебщина, всего 351 случай". tut.by (in Russian). 3 April 2020. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  35. ^ "Число зараженных коронавирусом в Беларуси выросло до 440. Минздрав подтвердил смерть 5 человек". tut.by (in Russian). 4 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  36. ^ "Число зараженных коронавирусом в Беларуси выросло до 562. Минздрав подтвердил смерть 8 человек". tut.by (in Russian). 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Сообщение пресс-службы" (in Russian). minzdrav.gov.by. 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  38. ^ "В Беларуси зафиксировали 700 случаев коронавируса, 53 человека выздоровели, 13 умерли". tut.by (in Russian). 6 April 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  39. ^ "В Беларуси 861 заболевших коронавирусом. В каких регионах больше всего случаев заражения". tut.by (in Russian). 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  40. ^ "В Беларуси уже 861 случай коронавируса. Умерли 13 человек". Onliner.by (in Russian). 7 April 2020. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  41. ^ "В Беларуси с начала вспышки — 1066 случаев коронавируса. 77 человек выздоровели". tut.by (in Russian). 8 April 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  42. ^ "Belarussian Leader Proposes 'Tractor' Therapy For Coronavirus". The Moscow Times. 16 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  43. ^ "Belarus president plays hockey, says global coronavirus measures are result of 'psychosis'". The Moscow Times. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  44. ^ "Лукашенко: "Хоккей — лучшее антивирусное лекарство!"". onliner.by (in Russian). 28 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  45. ^ "Post-Soviet strongmen prescribe vodka, hockey and folk medicine against coronavirus". CNN. 31 March 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  46. ^ "О мерах по предотвращению завоза и распространения инфекции, вызванной коронавирусом COVID-19". government.by (in Russian). 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  47. ^ "Почему информация о распространении коронавируса в Беларуси должна быть максимально открытой. Обращение редакции TUT.BY". tut.by (in Russian). 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  48. ^ "Весенние каникулы у школьников будут продлены на одну неделю — до 13 апреля". tut.by (in Russian). 4 April 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  49. ^ "Беларусь просит у МВФ "быстрый" кредит на борьбу с последствиями глобального кризиса". tut.by (in Russian). 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.

External linksEdit