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23 March 2020

Belarus to do coronavirus express tests

Belarus will use an express test to identify the novel coronavirus COVID-19, Belarus’ Deputy Healthcare Minister Elena Bogdan said in an interview to the STV Channel, BelTA has learned.

“The People’s Republic of China will provide us with 1,008 express test kits. In the near future we will have express tests,” Elena Bogdan said.

According to the deputy minister, more than 19,000 people had been tested for coronavirus in Belarus at the time of recording the interview. The test result is ready within four to 24 hours. “The system works well. If we need additional laboratories, we will resort to reserve ones. Our tests have been checked by the World Health Organization. They have received a high level of reliability, and we can be absolutely sure of their quality,” she said.

According to Elena Bogdan, Belarus maintains cooperation not only with the WHO but also with other foreign colleagues, including Chinese specialists. Therefore, as soon as information about the new coronavirus became available, necessary measures were taken to prevent it.

“We had several teleconferences with our colleagues from China and Italy. Our anesthesiologists, intensive care specialists, infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists have been in touch with representatives of other countries for many years and receive information on coronavirus infection as part of this cooperation. Taking into account this experience, the instruction on diagnosis and management of patients with coronavirus infection, from asymptomatic carriers to treatment of severe pneumonia with the use of respiratory equipment, was developed,” Elena Bogdan said.

The deputy minister also said that there are over 80,000 hospital beds in the country. Some of them can be re-done to help patients with coronavirus infection. The country has more than 2,000 respiratory medical devices, 1,500 anesthesia and respiratory devices, which, if necessary, can also be used to provide medical care to such patients.

The pharmaceutical network has developed necessary stocks of medicines for up to four months in case of different developments of the situation. There is also enough protective clothing for medical workers.

Belarus news (BelTA)