Belarus, a small country located between Russia and the European Union member Poland with 9.5 million people. According to WHO statistics, Belarus has recorded 94 cases of covid-19 infection and no deaths.
President Alexander Lukashenko has dismissed concerns about Covid-19, telling his people that ice hockey, vodka and banya (a traditional sauna) are the best covid-19 treatment.
While most European countries have ordered social isolation, Belarus has yet to implement restrictions on large gatherings.
So far, Belarus has not closed the border but all its neighbors: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have closed their borders. Restaurants, parks and bars remain open. Major sporting events took place as planned and attracted hundreds of spectators, despite the World Health Organization’s distant recommendations.
Not only are tournaments going on as planned, but fans are still attending matches across the country because Belarus has yet to implement restrictions on crowded gatherings.
The Belarussian Premier League is currently the only continental football tournament to continue in the explosion of Covid-19. Saturday derby between the two teams from the capital Minsk attracted 1,750 fans.
And Lukashenko himself was not limited to appearing in public, he participated in a hockey game on Saturday. “It is better to die than to live on your knees. This is a refrigerator, this is good for health, nothing is better than sports, especially if ice is a real antiviral drug. ” he said.
Both Lukashenko and supporters in the stands do not seem to make any effort to comply with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on how far away from society, still hugging and patting each other’s back.
The work did not stop either, because Lukashenko was concerned about how the response of covid-19 is damaging the global economy. He said he found inspiration in U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal that treating Covid-19 should not be worse than the virus itself.