Belarus scraps short-lived mask mandates amid virus surge

Asia's Tech News Daily

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarusian authorities on Friday abolished mask mandates, less than two weeks after their introduction for the first time during the pandemic and a day after the country registered a record number of new coronavirus infections.

Belarus scraps short-lived mask mandates amid virus surge
© Provided by Associated Press FILE – In this Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 file photo, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko listens to World Health organization Director for Europe Hans Kluge during their meeting in Minsk, Belarus. Belarusian authorities on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 abolished mask mandates less than two weeks after their introduction for the first time in the pandemic after Lukashenko dismissed them as unnecessary even as the country faced a spike in contagion. (Maxim Guchek/BelTA Pool Photo via AP, File)

The decision came after Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko dismissed the measures as unnecessary during a meeting with officials earlier this week.

“It’s just over the top to send police to track down those who aren’t wearing masks,” Lukashenko said. “We aren’t the West.”

The mask mandates were introduced on Oct. 9 amid a new wave of contagion. Belarusians had been required to wear medical masks in all indoor public areas, including public transport and stores.

On Thursday, the country reported 2,097 new confirmed infections, the highest number so far.

When the pandemic struck, Lukashenko had dismissed concern over the coronavirus as “psychosis” and refused to impose any restrictions. The country was the only one in Europe to keep holding professional soccer games with fans in the stands while the outbreak was in full swing.

Belarus scraps short-lived mask mandates amid virus surge
© Provided by Associated Press Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko leads a cabinet meeting in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Belarusian authorities on Friday abolished mask mandates less than two weeks after their introduction for the first time in the pandemic, after Lukashenko dismissed them as unnecessary even as the country faced a spike in contagion. (Nikolay Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)

The 67-year-old former state farm director advised Belarusians to “kill the virus with vodka,” go to saunas and work in the fields to avoid infection. “Tractors will cure everybody!” he proclaimed.

His cavalier attitude to the coronavirus amid soaring contagion and deaths angered many Belarusians and contributed to the public outrage over Lukashenko’s re-election to sixth term in an August 2020 vote — which the opposition and the West have rejected as a sham.

Belarusian authorities responded to months of massive protests with a ferocious crackdown that saw more than 35,000 people arrested and thousands beaten by police — a repression that triggered bruising Western sanctions.

While announcing the abolition of the short-lived mask mandates, Lukashenko, who has run the ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million for more than 27 years with an iron hand, earning the nickname of “Europe’s last dictator” in the West, added a touch of sardonic humor, saying: “This is the advantage of a dictatorship — whoosh, and a wrong decision is no longer valid.”

Lukashenko’s statement came even as daily infections have topped 2,000 in recent days, prompting Belarusian authorities to halt other medical services to allow hospitals to concentrate on treating COVID-19 patients.

Lukashenko offered his own advice to medical workers to avoid hospitals from being overwhelmed, suggesting they should discharge patients more quickly.

“You shouldn’t keep people who don’t need long hospitalization for 7-10 days,” he said. “If you see that a patient is getting better and no longer needs intravenous injections and other things, just send him home.”

In a further bizarre twist, Lukashenko said Belarus has seen a reduction in the number of cancer patients during the pandemic and speculated that COVID-19 could be a “remedy from oncological diseases.”

He added that doctors first thought the drop in cancer patients was linked to fewer people turning for medical assistance during the pandemic, but claimed that the explanation wasn’t sufficient. He didn’t provide any facts to support the strange claim, which has caused a barrage of critical comments.

Belarus has registered a total of more than 580,000 infections and 4,482 deaths. Only about 20% of the population have been vaccinated, with Russian and Chinese vaccines.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

GDP growth to moderate to 3.8% in 2022

© Provided by Singapore Business Review In 2021, GDP growth hit 7.1%. Singapore’s growth domestic product (GDP) growth will moderate in 2022 to 3.8%, slower than 2021’s strong record of ... Read more »

Ben Stokes suffers injury concern as England star struggles to bowl in Ashes opener

England ‘s star all-rounder Ben Stokes struggled with an injury concern on day two of the first Ashes Test against Australia. After bowling a probing first five overs in the ... Read more »

Airdrie boss Ian Murray 'unsure' on severity of Salim Kouider-Aissa's knee injury

Airdrie manager Ian Murray says his fingers are crossed for striker Salim Kouider-Aissa after he picked up a knee injury. The 25-year-old has featured 12 times in all competitions for ... Read more »

Dramatic moment driver slams into Christmas parade just weeks after Waukesha horror that killed six

A PERSON has been arrested after a minivan drove into a Christmas parade weeks after the deadly Waukesha crash. No one was injured and the driver of the vehicle was ... Read more »

Emma Raducanu rounds off her amazing year by signing a deal with Evian

TENNIS champ Emma Raducanu rounds off a rally amazing year — by signing a deal with bottled water company Evian. The US Open winner, 19, posed at Wimbledon to celebrate ... Read more »

‘i-Sinar' carian tertinggi dalam Google Malaysia tahun ini

© Provided by MalaysiaNow Bantuan kewangan oleh Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP), “i-Sinar” menjadi terma carian paling tinggi rakyat Malaysia tahun ini, diikuti kejohanan bola sepak “Euro 2021” dan permainan ... Read more »

[VIDEO]Tak mahu beratur, bersesak bayar saman PDRM, gunakan 4 cara mudah ini

BAGI korang yang masih memiliki ‘surat cinta’ daripada Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) yang belum dijelaskan, ini peluang terbaik. Kini polis menawarkan diskaun kompaun saman trafik sebanyak 80 peratus bermula hari ... Read more »

Kapitol-Attacke: Trumps Ex-Stabschef will nicht aussagen

Der einstige Stabschef von Ex-US-Präsident Donald Trump, Mark Meadows, wehrt sich juristisch gegen die Vorladung in den Kongress-Untersuchungsausschuss zur Attacke auf das Kapitol im Januar. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Trumps ... Read more »

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 atasi Bionic A15 dalam jabatan GPU, tapi gagal di CPU

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 bakal menemui pengguna dalam sejumlah peranti flagship tahun 2022. Cip ini adalah saingan secara langsung terhadap Apple Bionic A15 yang memperkasakan siri iPhone 13 sekarang. Maklumat ... Read more »

Feuer in Vernier GE: Zweiter Brand innert 24 Stunden im gleichen Hochhaus

In einem Hochhaus in der Genfer Vorortsgemeinde Vernier ist in der Nacht auf Donnerstag zum zweiten Mal innert 24 Stunden ein Brand ausgebrochen. Mehrere Bewohnerinnen und Bewohner wurden vorübergehend evakuiert. ... Read more »

Ashes: Cricket Australia CEO confirms fifth Test would be Day-night contest

Ashes: Cricket Australia confirms 5th Test would be Pink-ball match This Ashes series is all set to feature two day-night Tests after Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley confirmed that the ... Read more »

Poor batting costs Chandigarh Vijay Hazare opener

© Provided by The Times of India CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh skipper Manan Vohra’s cracking 56 off 69 balls went in vain after the UT side went down to Kerala by 6 ... Read more »

Drilon presses social media platforms to identify trolls

SENATE President Franklin Drilon pressed social media platforms to identify internet trolls in order to establish a balance between freedom of speech and the responsibility of using that freedom on ... Read more »

Clippers hang on to beat Celtics 114-111 behind rookie

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Brandon Boston Jr. had career highs of 27 points and five 3-pointers, sparking the Los Angeles Clippers to a 114-111 victory over the Boston Celtics on ... Read more »

'He Handled the Pressure With Ease': Laxman, Chopra Name India's 'No.1 Performer' in New Zealand Tests

© Provided by News18 ‘He Handled the Pressure With Ease’: Laxman, Chopra Name India’s ‘No.1 Performer’ in New Zealand Tests Shreyas Iyer couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his ... Read more »

Video: Kitten stuck in drain is rescued in Arizona

Numerous calls to the fire department about "meowing" coming from drains led officers to investigate and set a humane trap, which eventually worked. Read more »

Exclusive-Lithuania braces for China-led corporate boycott

1 / 2Exclusive-Lithuania braces for China-led corporate boycottFILE PHOTO: European Union and Lithuanian flags flutter at border crossing point in Medininkai By John O'Donnell and Andrius Sytas FRANKFURT/VILNIUS (Reuters) – ... Read more »

French police release Saudi man arrested over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, saying they got the wrong person: report

People hold posters picturing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Yasin Akgul/Getty Images Paris police on Tuesday arrested a Saudi man whom they said was suspected in ... Read more »

Fox Christmas tree arson suspect released without bail

The suspect was charged with multiple misdemeanor charges, as he allegedly was responsible for setting the artificial tree on fire with a piece of cardboard that was on fire initially. ... Read more »

PM Narendra Modi congratulates Olaf Scholz on being elected Germany's Chancellor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday congratulated Olaf Scholz on being elected Germany‘s Chancellor and said he looks forward to working closely with him to further strengthen the India-Germany strategic ... Read more »

DepEd optimistic on expanding face-to-face classes by January 2022, official says

© Danny Pata Pupils from Aurora A. Quezon Elementary School in San Andres, Manila, line up before entering the school during the first day of the pilot run of face-to-face ... Read more »

Lok Sabha pays tributes to Gen Bipin Rawat, 12 others who died in helicopter crash

The Lok Sabha on Thursday paid tributes to Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and 12 others who died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. The members also ... Read more »

5 Things To Avoid A Month Before Your Wedding

Shaadi season is here and if you are getting married soon, then we totally understand what hustle-bustle is going on in your mind. You must be under a lot of ... Read more »

SBI CBO Recruitment 2021: Notification released for 1226 posts on sbi.co.in, check details here

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The State Bank of India, Circle Based Officers notification has been released. The bank has commenced the registration process for 1226 vacancies from ... Read more »

RateGain Travel IPO subscribed 90% on final day, retail portion booked 4.66 times

© Sunil Matkar RateGain Travel IPO subscribed 90% on final day, retail portion booked 4.66 times The public offer of software-as-a-service company RateGain Travel Technologies has been subscribed 90 percent, ... Read more »

Danish fintech firm Pleo raises another $200 million at $4.7 billion valuation

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Danish financial technology firm Pleo, which offers expense management tools and “smart” payment cards for companies, said on Thursday it has raised another $200 million as part ... Read more »

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Says Party May Join Hands with Congress to Take on BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Goa

© Provided by News18 Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut Says Party May Join Hands with Congress to Take on BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Goa Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Umar Riaz's cousin Nomaan Ellahi dismisses designer Faizan Ansari's claims of fraud and bullying after FIR on Asim Riaz's brother

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com After Paras Chhabra in Bigg Boss 13, it is Bigg Boss 15’s Umar Riaz who is making news for allegedly playing foul with his designers. As ... Read more »

Genelia returns to acting with husband Riteish's directorial debut 'Ved'

© IANS Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia Deshmukh.(photo:instagram) Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) Actor Riteish Deshmukh is all set to step behind the camera as he is all set to make his ... Read more »

Floral tributes paid to General Bipin Rawat, others

Floral tributes were on Thursday paid to Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 others killed in an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash here earlier. Senior Army ... Read more »

Paytm slips 2%; RBI's proposal to release discussion paper on digital payment charges hits sentiment

© Provided by CNBCTV18 Shares of One 97 Communications, Paytm’s parent, fell as much as two percent on Thursday after the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) announcement to release a ... Read more »

Air Marshal Manvendra Singh to head tri-service inquiry into IAF chopper crash: Rajnath Singh

A tri-service inquiry has been ordered by the Indian Air Force into the Tamil Nadu chopper crash tragedy that killed India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 ... Read more »

Not Anupamaa or Imlie, but Ghum Hai Kisi Key Pyaar Meiin, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and more become Most Tweeted about TV shows on Twitter in 2021

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com In a year where there was a dearth of big Bollywood movies, TV shows grew in popularity. TV stars received much loved and TV show producers ... Read more »

Know all about Black Box and how it can help solve mystery behind CDS General Bipin Rawat's IAF helicopter crash

© Provided by DNA The sudden and untimely death of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Bipin Rawat, along with his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons has shocked ... Read more »

Saudi Crown Prince arrives in Qatar after completing UAE trip

© Motivate Publishing Saudi Qatar Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in the Qatari capital, Doha on Wednesday as part of his visit to all the GCC countries. Prince ... Read more »

PM congratulates new German Chancellor

© Provided by The Statesman PM congratulates new German Chancellor Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Olaf Scholz on being elected as the Federal Chancellor of Germany. “My heartiest congratulations ... Read more »

Banks deployed Rs 11.20 lakh cr to micro, small units in Oct, marginally down from year-ago: RBI data

© Provided by The Financial Express Rs 13.44 lakh crore credit to MSMEs had 12.17 per cent share in the overall gross bank credit of Rs 110.46 lakh crore during ... Read more »

Sarah Jessica Parker Says Resurrecting 'SATC' Characters for 'And Just Like That' Wasn't Simple (Exclusive)

© et For the cast of And Just Like That, stepping back into the roles they originated in Sex and the Citywasn’t exactly as simple as it might seem. Sarah ... Read more »

Dubai-based Danube Group confirms shift to new weekend structure

© Motivate Publishing Rizwan-Sajan-Founder-and-CHairman-Danube-Group-800×555 Dubai-headquartered Danube Group has become one of the first private companies in the country to confirm that it will change its working days to align with ... Read more »

Abu Dhabi steps up safety drive after 20% increase in severe and fatal motorbike crashes

© Chris Whiteoak Delivery drivers have been urged to wear protective equipment, including jackets and boots. Chris Whiteoak / The National Abu Dhabi has registered a 20 per cent increase ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic