15 July 2020, Wednesday, 14:21
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Minsk Doctor: Coronavirus Incidence Will Grow In Belarus

Minsk Doctor: Coronavirus Incidence Will Grow In Belarus
PHOTO: MINSKNEWS.BY

Absolutely everybody is at risk.

Andrei Perasada, a doctor-traumatologist and orthopedist, candidate of medical sciences, employee of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of Traumatology and Orthopedics in Minsk, says this in an interview with Charter97.org.

The doctor himself is currently infected with COVID-19.

- You have faced coronavirus infection both as a doctor and as a patient...

- Yes. I can describe my symptoms as follows: fever, lack of smell, weakness, cough, headache.

I don't know how I got infected. Patients at work and colleagues could have been the source of infection, you can never guess. I'm feeling more or less okay right now.

From personal experience, I can say that there are a lot of patients in hospitals. There are a lot of diagnoses of pneumonia. Yeah, coronovirus is not confirmed for all people with that diagnosis. But it is a technical question of whether COVID-19 tests have been performed in the right amount. There are also questions about the tests themselves.

- How great are the risks to health and life of Belarusian doctors during the coronavirus epidemic?

- As always, our physicians found themselves in a difficult situation during the Coronavirus epidemic.

I would like to note that those who work in ordinary hospitals, not "covid" ones, are more at risk of falling ill now. The fact is that the "covid" medical institutions have better equipment for the staff, as well as tougher protection procedures.

In "non-covid" institutions, which during the epidemic were re-equipped to receive patients with coronavirus, physicians are poorly protected, and there is a lack of personal means of protection.

In our RSPC traumatology and orthopedics, both doctors and nurses suffer from coronavirus. There are several dozens of those who are ill now among the doctors of our center.

- What can you say, according to your experience, about real mortality from COVID-19 in Belarus?

- I have personally had to deal with the deaths of patients. I want to say that yes, coronavirus is not always recognized as the official cause of death in Belarusian medical institutions, even if it is actually present.

That's why nobody knows the exact death figures from COVID-19 in our country. Apart from the official figures, there are other calculations. So, based on these different calculations, I can say the figure of at least 3,000 deaths from coronavirus in Belarus.

- Who is most affected by the infection?

- Belarusian doctors are in a special risk group - this is always the case with epidemics. In general, coronavirus doesn't make "preferences": all strata and groups of society get ill.

Obviously, older people die to a greater extent...

- One of your colleagues, Vitsebsk doctor Uladzimir Martau, noticed that Belarus has a very strange age of people dying from coronavirus and those seriously ill: they are people born in 1960-1973. How do you explain it?

- This phenomenon is indeed observed in our country, just like in Russia. They also note a severe form of disease among patients of this age group.

I think there are two ways of explaining it. The first is a genetic factor, a matter of genetic features. The second is a question of diagnostics: is COVID-19 uncovered among all patients in the older age group?

I think that so far the answers to these questions are the reason for further and deeper research.

- What are your forecasts for further development of the epidemic in Belarus?

- There will be a further increase in the number of cases, which will be officially hidden. As of today, there are no objective prerequisites for its reduction.

Any mass events - parade on May 9, celebration of Radunitsa, Easter, anything - will only increase the incidence of coronavirus.