Another epidemiological “hot spot” has appeared in Belarus.
This is my hometown, Kobryn. In the recent days, relatives and friends have been calling me from there, informing that a wave of the coronavirus is sweeping through the district center.
The entire infectious diseases hospital, and one building of the district hospital have been allocated to admit moderate patients. This is about 200 beds. Serious patients are transferred to Brest.
Several centers of isolation have been created - in the sanatorium Kolos, the psycho-neurological dispensary, and the boarding house for the elderly in the village of Imianiny.
The Kobryn maternity clinic is overcrowded, as women from Biaroza are being brought here, since the situation in their town has gotten out of control and even the hospital has been redesigned to receive patients with the coronavirus.
Most patients are not tested for the coronavirus. The maximum that they offer is fluorography, which does not show anything.
Many people go home - there are no places in hospitals.
A few weeks ago, three Kobryn surgeons were infected. One was sent to Brest. He lay under an oxygen mask for two weeks. Now the doctor’s condition has returned to normal, but his internal organs are affected, and a long rehabilitation is needed.
Doctors who do not work with COVID-19 patients were given three respirators two weeks ago, which they have to quartz. The doctors buy extra respirators for their money.
A priest from the local Orthodox church, and a Protestant pastor fell ill with the coronavirus.
Educators are falling ill en masse. In some schools, parents are secretly asked not to bring their children to classes.
The famous Kobryn toy factory “Palesse” (one of the few profitable enterprises in the town) began to work 2-3 days a week. The people’s wages have fallen significantly.
The situation in the villages is no better. In the settlement of Radastava, where my grandmother lived, whole houses get sick, the Chief of Medicine at the local hospital fell ill, they brought the infected to the district center of Drahichyn. The local priest is on quarantine, his wife is in hospital with the coronavirus, the church is closed.
Yesterday it was reported that the whole village council fell ill in the village of Khidry.
This is an incomplete epidemiological picture of one small Belarusian district. There are 118 such districts in Belarus. In each, the situation is no better, if not worse.
Today, people in these places are in real danger. Medicine in district towns is in poor condition, there is no necessary equipment, specialists do not want to stay in hospitals due to low salaries and lack of prospects. The queue for ultrasound, computed tomography or MRI lasts up to six months. All these tests can only be done in the region. In the same Kobryn there is no such equipment - you have to go to Brest. However, by the orders of Lukashenka, a water park and an ice palace were built here. Huge buildings are empty, pumping out huge money for maintenance from a meager local budget.
I saw polls on the Internet today, according to which Lukashenka’s rating is only 3 percent. Everything is clear with him. But another thing is also clear. The struggle for freedom today is the struggle for life.
Natallia Radzina, Editor-in-Chief at Charter97.org