Despite COVID-19: Lukashenka calls on leaders to attend Victory parade in Minsk

Alyaksandr Lukashenka is encouraging his counterparts to arrive in Belarus on May, 9 and be present at the upcoming Victory parade even amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“I publicly invite leaders of all states, at least those of the former Soviet Union, to come to Minsk and to attend the parade,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the Belarusian leader.

According to him, it would be fair to gather together in Minsk, because Belarus was the country who ‘suffered the most’ during the Great Patriotic War. He called the country a ‘living monument to the war’. At the same time, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said many leaders who had earlier imposed ‘quarantine and curfews’ might not show up at the event in order to ‘save the face’.

He also recalled that the Kremlin had cancelled the Victory Day parade in Moscow; on the back of it, Lukashenka came up with the idea of Russian television’s broadcasting the Minsk-based parade for ‘the brotherly nation’.

Tanks and fireworks: Belarus gearing up for Victory Parade amid pandemic

A few days ago, the head of state said there was no reason to call off the Victory parade as the situation was ‘normal’ despite the lack of quarantine. He expressed confidence that the event would not do any harm to the participants’ health. In his view, the authorities do not need to urge people to attend it as there are ‘thousands’ of volunteers.

To date, Belarusian health professionals have registered 18,350 persons infected with the novel coronavirus; 107 COVID-19 patients have died. In spite of the increasing infection rate, the Belarusian authorities have not introduced any quarantine measures. President Lukashenka believes that imposing a nationwide lockdown would not improve the situation in Belarus. In his opinion, such steps might deal a crippling blow to the daily life of the nation. Although the Belarusian leader admitted that the recommendations by the World Health Organisation should be studied in detail, he stressed the country would run its own course.

WHO representative in Belarus says lack of physical distance can lead to increased deaths