On March 16, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka praised Belarusian rural workers for keeping their heads cool over the COVID-19 pandemic.
When announcing new appointments on Monday, Lukashenka blasted ‘alarmists’ and recommended that Belarusians remain calm and continue working. According to him, the world has gone crazy over the speculations related to coronavirus.
“We have survived viruses before. There were more complicated viruses: swine flu, bird flu, and atypical pneumonia. They ranted about how it all started blaming mass media for being too particular and for covering the problem in the wrong way. Probably, this time they will blame the media too, in a month or two. Although they deserve some criticism,” state-run news agency quotes Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
The Belarusian leader also shared with the newly appointed officials his own ways of fighting infections, including the novel coronavirus.
“There should be no panic, all you need to do is to work. I am happy when I watch TV and see people labouring in the fields, driving tractors, and no one is talking about the virus. There the tractor will cure everyone. The field will heal us all,” he said.
He advised going to a dry sauna, claiming that the virus dies at 60 degrees; more frequent handwashing, regular diet, and… drinking some vodka are also on his list.
“I am a non-drinker, but at this time I jokingly say that you should not just wash your hands with vodka, but probably also poison this virus with it [from within]. In terms of pure alcohol, [one should consume] 40-50 grams per day. But not at work!” he warned.
To date, the Belarusian Health Ministry has recorded 36 residents whose tests showed the presence of the coronavirus’ RNA. Three patients have been already discharged. According to the officials, no quarantine is planned.
A few days ago, the ministry said that the closure of the border was unable to prevent the entry of coronavirus, as ‘7 out of 8 cases of imported coronavirus infection were found precisely among the Belarusian citizens, returning to their homeland from abroad’. As for the possibility of shutting down kindergartens and primary schools over the virus, the ministry stresses that children get sick much less often and do not die of coronavirus at all.