10 April 2020, Fri 8:29

‘People's Quarantine Held in Conditions of Complete Marasmus on the Part of the Belarusian Government’ 62

13:07 25.03.2020 — Politics

The state machine does everything to make the virus spread.

Last week, Belarusian opposition leaders and public figures addressed the citizens of Belarus. They urged people to declare a People's Quarantine in response to the inaction of the Belarusian authorities in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The quarantine will last from March 23 to April 5.

Co-Chair of the Belarusian Christian Democracy Pavel Seviarynets told Charter97.org about the People's Quarantine in Belarus.

- First, as far as I know (we monitored the situation yesterday), half of the student audience in Minsk was empty. Students either take online learning or boycott the studies. There are a huge number of cases when parents do not let their children go to school. The People's Quarantine has begun. Meanwhile, we are trying to hold volunteer actions to help doctors and hospitals. It turns out that hospitals do not have the essentials. They are afraid to accept help from people because it is regulated by the state and they can be punished for accepting, for example, some materials or food.

People's Quarantine is held in conditions of complete marasmus on the part of the current government. To be specific, they simply halt quarantine measures, although the state should have been the first to offer assistance. To pay salaries when they stay home and do not work, to pay sick leaves to parents who stay home with their children. Instead, the state machine does its best to ensure the spread of the virus.

- Belarusian doctors joined the international action "We stay at work to help you. Stay home to help us". How would you comment on the actions of doctors who have already taken the initiative regardless of the authorities?

- I think that such actions of responsible doctors are also the People's Quarantine. These people know best what it means not to take measures to fight the epidemic. They start the same People's Quarantine from their side.

Of course, we can only welcome such a flash mob, this initiative and once again express dissatisfaction with the behaviour of the Ministry of Health and the Administration. This simply destroys the ability to protect ourselves from the epidemic. Doctors are great. I think they need support and we need to join the voluntary fundraising. To help doctors with some means, equipment from sponsors, firms. They need assistance because they're on the front line.

- How would you assess the protection measures in the EU countries and Belarus?

- It should be noted that at the moment Germany gives the best response to this epidemic. It has imposed strict quarantine measures. At the state level, the Chancellor explains what to do in order not to get infected. We see that Germany has a lower death rate, although there are many countries with much higher rates. Punctual Germans have implemented the recommendations of the state, the rules of quarantine. This is an advantage for highly organized nations; they face this epidemic battle-ready. Nevertheless, they save lives. If we think about people, we're going to do this.

If Belarus holds parades and football matches, we'll follow the Italian scenario. Italy urged people to quarantine, but they took it not seriously and now there are hundreds of deaths every day.

If Lukashenka wants the same, it's just a crime. Germany is an example of how to act. I think their example should serve as a ground. Yes, these measures are strict, but it saves lives.

How can the economy survive? The people in Drazdy should spend their nest eggs. Everything that's in extra-budgetary funds, Lukashenka's funds. If you're a patriot and stand for the people, then give everything you have. Desperate times have come, all the people will stand. Residences can be used as infectious diseases hospitals. There is no problem, they stand idle anyway.

- What can make Lukashenka introduce quarantine?

- It's hard to say, he's already neglected all norms of morality. We don't even know for sure if there were any coronavirus-related deaths in Belarus. There may already be dozens of deaths. They may just not inform us. Information leaks occurred only because people were not afraid of saying something.

It's hardly believable that the country with open borders and in the heart of Europe has coped with everything. We do not believe in official statistics, we do not believe Lukashenka. People see the example of Zhytkavichy. This woman did not go anywhere, but she contracted this virus. The virus is spreading in Belarus. Zhytkavichy is not even a port city; there is no airport and there is a small transport hub. How did she manage to get sick?

European death rates more or less reflect cases of disease detected. But we've already got a hundred, and the Ministry of Health says there are no deaths.

- How will the People's Quarantine develop further? What else can Belarusians do to protect themselves and their loved ones?

- First, one should demand the introduction of quarantine from the state. We need to support students who need online learning. It is necessary to support student strikes. When it comes to workers or people on duty, we should support them as well. It stops the infection. Besides, we need to join volunteer projects. Those leaflets that have appeared in Ukraine ("Help the elderly nearby") can help; we need to join such things to ensure growing solidarity and to help people survive.

Why do we need to demand a quarantine from the state? Because they have to support people financially. In today's poor state, people are more afraid to stay a month without money. Together we will make the authorities to pay off and take the measures that normal countries take.

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