Four coronavirus deaths reported in Belarus

Four deaths related to the novel coronavirus infection were reported by the Belarusian health ministry on Thursday afternoon.

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“There have been recorded four deaths of elderly patients with multiple chronic diseases, which, according to preliminarily data, were exacerbated by the coronavirus infection,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen to 300.

As many as 46 coronavirus patients have already recovered and have been discharged from hospitals, while 254 patients more are receiving treatment in hospitals at the moment.

The majority of coronavirus patients reportedly show only light or mild symptoms. Eleven patients, however, are on a ventilator. Their condition was described as stable.

The ministry pointed out that in addition to patients who have a severe type of pneumonia, samples from the lower respiratory tract had started to be taken from all patients who have a “moderate” type of pneumonia “with a view to detecting all possible COVID-19 cases.”

According to the ministry, Belarusian doctors have both Belarusian and foreign diagnostic tests available to them. More than 11,000 test kits are reportedly in stock. Nine laboratories currently conduct tests for the coronavirus, but their number could be increased to 12, if necessary.

A total of 9,299 first- and second-level contacts of coronavirus patients are currently under medical supervision, with 1,943 of them staying in hospitals. 

According to the ministry, there are enough hospital beds for potential coronavirus patients. If necessary, hospitals will be repurposed for treating coronavirus patients without detriment to other patients, the ministry said.

The measures that are being taken in Belarus make it possible to prevent a surge in coronavirus cases similar to those in Belarus’ neighboring countries, the ministry noted.