‘Belarus has reported a total of 11,289 COVID-19 cases and 75 coronavirus-related fatalities among its population of 9.5 million people. The country is one of the few nations in Europe that’s chosen not to introduce widespread quarantine measures to tackle the pandemic, with workplaces, schools, shops, parks and other public places staying open.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has explained why his government continues to stubbornly refuse the introduction of nation-wide restrictive measures to tackle the coronavirus, a month-and-a-half after most of the rest of the industrialized world has put various ‘stay at home’ orders in place.
“There are some people pushing us, saying ‘come on, Lukashenko you blankety-blank, introduce quarantine’. Listen, people would raise me up on pitchforks if I did so,” the Belarusian president said, speaking to residents of a rural area in Gomel region, southern Belarus on Sunday.
“There is no need to do so, although we do not deny that we have people who are sick. We have not closed the country, we have not stopped production. And, what I can tell you for sure is, if we created a panic, we would be in real trouble,” Lukashenko added.
Lukashenko also suggested that part of his reasoning for refusing cross-the-board quarantine measures was related to possible dangers of a weakened public immunity in the face of the virus. “What could happen after isolation?…Yes, someone will get sick, be taken from their homes and treated. Everyone else is sitting in their apartments, their stuffy apartments, exhausted, angry, frustrated, frightened and intimidated. Now they need to be released, it’s necessary to end the isolation regime. But the virus is still out there, people are getting sick. In France up to 400 people [a day] are dying, in Britain it’s 600. They open the gates and let people out, and [weakened] people get attacked by the roaming virus. And you’ll have a second wave of infection,” he argued.