There is a high probability that our Ministry of Health will not cope with the epidemic.
Doctors are one of the risk groups during the coronavirus pandemic. Journalists talked with Belarusian doctors about what is happening in the medical institutions, and whether Belarusians need quarantine, Radio Svaboda reports.
"It is highly likely that our Ministry will not be able to cope with this"
"Everything is far from the rosy picture they are feeding to the people," says a doctor at a Minsk hospital. "A lot of people get sick now. Both swine flu and seasonal flu are diagnosed. People die from pneumonia, and plainly no one can tell from which pathogen. They take smears to test for the "corona". Nobody knows what will happen next."
According to the doctor, the hospitals that have been redesigned for "first and second level contacts" are already clogged.
"Moreover, as I was told, there are already ten cases of infected people among doctors working with the contacts. Some of the doctors I know are waiting for the results, as they were hospitalized as contacts."
The girl says that her hospital runs out of masks, so the doctors themselves sew them from gauze. Planned hospitalization was temporarily canceled - only urgent remained.
The doctor advises the Belarusians to stay at home rather than to walk around the city, as "there is an infection among people."
"That's for sure. The disease as a whole grows exponentially. Most likely, our Ministry will not cope with this. Now is the season of flu and SARS. But, I think, the "corona" is growing in our country."
The doctor supports the introduction of quarantine.
"Here you can think logically. Quarantine was introduced by countries in which medicine is an order of magnitude better than ours, with more opportunities than we have. China held back the outbreak only thanks to tough quarantine measures.
If quarantine, then it must be strict. I mean, really stay at home. Cancel events and more. Some doctors and nurses do not take children to schools or kindergartens. Someone, on the contrary, does not see a problem here - they say that children don’t get sick anyway."
Lukashenka’s phrase about "40-50 grams ok f pure alcohol" has become a joke among doctors.
"Doctors will be doctors. We are joking, laughing. There is a caution anyway, but our work is like that. But all strive to implement measures. We examine patients with masks on, hands are treated. Although a mask needs to be worn by a patient, there is still a mask regimen for doctors throughout the hospital."
In her opinion, the biggest problem is that Belarusians do not have access to all information about the coronavirus.
"We have masks! Let's pretend that they help."
Another interlocutor has been working as an ophthalmologist for several years in one of Minsk polyclinics.
"Many people come to me normally - on average from 50 to 70 per day. They rarely come to me with acute respiratory viral infections, with temperature and with everything that looks like symptoms of the coronavirus, since they simply are not allowed.
People who were diagnosed with the coronavirus later did not come to me either - at least I hope so. Who knows, maybe with a hidden form. Probably yes".
But, she says, therapists on their days off visited all the people who had contact with patients with coronavirus at the second level.
According to the doctor, in the clinic the flow of patients is divided: for those who have symptoms of coronavirus, there is a separate entrance. For those who have a fever, a separate floor. It has always been like this, the doctor says, but now they have allocated another floor, and also closed the department of the day hospital.
"We have masks! Let's pretend that they help. There are antiseptics. We call everyone so that they do not come to the reception without urgent need. But this is not about my reception."
"Elderly doctors who work on retirement are not at all happy"
According to the girl, there are fewer people in the clinic and most of them wear masks.
"Virus awareness is extremely low. If you ask why a person came to the clinic at such a time, then you will most likely be told to get lost, I checked. They will look with big eyes."
The girl says that all doctors are afraid and working. If there become more infected, then everyone will go to visits on calls.
"All specialists will conduct general appointment," the doctor says. " And with the presence of masks and antiseptics in the arsenal, this is not so fun. But I am more calm about this. Retired elderly doctors are not at all enthusiastic about what is happening. Work, duty - it's all clear, but we all also need protection. A little more than a face mask."
She adds that the behavior of the Belarusian authorities calms the population, but "a moderate panic would be better."
"Fear would give rise to at least minimal concern for themselves and their health. Without adequate quarantine measures, the process can drag on and bring very sad consequences. Especially if there are countries with examples of the development of this epidemic. To localize such situations, you need to act more strictly. Why quarantine is not introduced in schools, kindergartens is a mystery to me."