Belarus suspends routine medical care to focus on COVID-19 –



Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko listens to World Health Organization Director for Europe Hans Kluge during their meeting in Minsk, Belarus on Thursday, October 14, 2021. (Maxim Guchek / BelTA Pool Photo via AP)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Belarus on Monday ordered routine medical care at state clinics to be stopped in order to devote more resources to coronavirus patients.

The health ministry said the suspended services include medical examinations and screenings, physiotherapy and dentistry.

Belarus has been hit by a growing wave of coronavirus infections, with around 2,000 new cases reported daily in the country of 9.3 million.

Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has often dismissed concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, once saying infections could be treated with “a tractor, a bath and some vodka.”

Only about 20% of the population have been fully immunized. Overall for the pandemic, Belarus has recorded around 574,000 infections – around 6% of the population – and 4,417 deaths.


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