Updated at 16:42,06-12-2016

Health Ministry hides all information about swine flu

At a press-conference in Minsk representatives of the Health Ministry categorically denied to reveal figures on the number of persons who had flu and died of it in Belarus.

As stated by the deputy head of the medial assistance department, head of the first aid department of the Ministry, Liudmila Zhylevich, the interest to concrete figures of persons with flu in Belarus is psychologically unhealthy, "Ezhednevnik" newspaper writes.

As stated by L. Zhylevich, the epidemiological situation in the country does not exceed the level of the last year, so there is no need to say about any extraordinary situation. "The high rate of infection is a problem which exists worldwide. The Health Ministry was ready for such developments," L. Zhylevich said.

However, last year I the beginning of the epidemic schools were not closed and drugstores were not emptied in a day. The position of the Health Ministry which was demonstrated at today’s press-conference, can be called ridiculous. On the one hand, representatives of the Ministry tried to calm down journalists saying that the situation is usual, and on the other hand, categorically refused to give any figures concerning flu cases and the death cases. On the one hand, Zhylevich advised to take safety measures including wearing face masks, and on the other hand, she was surprised by the panic around the masks.

"I looked through newspapers and websites today and was highly surprised by the great attention attracted by masks," Zhylevich said. To her mind, the boom concerning masks is to a great extent provoked. As said by her, earlier nobody was buying masks at all, and it is easy to make a mask yourself out of gauze, and not to charge the Health Ministry with being unprepared to the epidemic. The representative of the Ministry seems to be unaware that there is no gauze in drugstores too.

Absence of masks and other protection means in pharmacies does not mean the Health Ministry officials are careless and are not ready for the epidemic, but their disinclination to give full information about the course of epidemic speaks volumes.

Calling the interest of journalists to concrete figures and information "unhealthy interest", Zhylevich refused to answer any questions about flu. However, questions were asked, as a result the moderator of the press-conference was to stop the event early.

Meanwhile, reports about new deaths and complications of flu are disseminated in Belarus unofficially. Representatives of the Health Ministry refuse to confirm or disprove these reports categorically.