Updated at 15:09,08-07-2020

Healthcare Ministry: Belarus Is Reaching COVID-19 Plateau Lately


Healthcare Ministry: Belarus Is Reaching COVID-19 Plateau Lately
Belarus has reached a plateau on the coronavirus, infection Deputy Healthcare Minister Yelena Bogdan said in an interview to the STV channel.

“As you know, we have recently approached a so-called plateau when the coronavirus is diagnosed in 8,7-9,7% of the conducted tests. If we look at our diagram, we can see that we have reached this plateau and remain here,” Elena Bogdan said.

According to the official, 26,772 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the country as of 14 May. A total of 8,168 of them recovered and were discharged from hospitals.

Second in the number of tests in CIS

According to the deputy minister, the country has chosen a strategy when first-level contacts are tested for coronavirus, as well as patients with suspected coronavirus infection. This allows to quickly detect patients and restrain their avalanche-like growth.

“We test (like some countries) not only those who contacted our health care system. (…) We test our population as much as possible, when we have reason to suspect that this person may be infected with a coronavirus infection.”

According to Bogdan, sometimes up to ten people who have been in contact with one patient are tested.

“By detecting contact persons we find about 64%. Naturally, when we find a contact person, we go further and more contacts, and isolate them. Thus, we prevent an avalanche-like increase in the incidence rate we spoke before.”

By the number of conducted tests, Belarus is on a par with countries such as the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. Among the CIS countries, Belarus ranks second in the number of tests, she noted.

When will the epidemic decline?

Commenting on the reducing of the incidence rate, Irina Glinskaya, the deputy chief physician of Belarus’ National Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health, noted that no one in the world will be able to give an accurate forecast.

“The virus is new and quite difficult to predict. According to our forecast, we believe that [this will happen] by the end of the month, and in June, we will definitely reach a steady decrease in the number of new cases.”

Glinskaya explained that, according to scientists, this virus will behave like a normal respiratory virus, which means that with the onset of warm weather, the incidence will decline.

“The second moment. Be that as it may, there are less factors that affect a higher incidence in summer. That is, we talk less often in tight spaces. We take to the streets. (…) Therefore, in the summer, undoubtedly, the incidence rate will decrease.”

In an interview with TUT.BY, Director of the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS in Lithuania Saulius Čaplinskas said that when the percentage of positive test results per day is 3% or less, it indicates that the country is starting to cope with the epidemic.

At present, the coronavirus infection is diagnosed in 8,7-9,7% of the total number of conducted tests in Belarus, according to Deputy Healthcare Minister Elena Bogdan.