COVID-19 statistics published by regional press

Doctors in the regional center during the COVID-19 pandemic / Rodnaya Niva​

A little more than 100 thousand cases of coronavirus infection have been officially registered in Belarus. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, as of November 5,  14,164 patients have COVID-19.

Where do these people live? The latest regional statistics of the Ministry of Health was published at the end of April. Belarusians can judge about the situation in their districts and cities only by indirect evidence. Unexpectedly, regional newspapers come to rescue.

The situation is serious, but no specific information is available

The newspaper of the Shklou district Udarnyi Front does not publish statistics on the coronavirus. At the same time, on November 3, it reported that in one day 90 people with signs of infectious diseases turned to the regional hospital. Because of this, it was decided to admit such patients 24/7, and to increase the number of "special" doctors to four.

Nash Chas based in Vaukavysk does not give exact figures either, but at the same time the newspaper published recommendations of the chief sanitary doctor of the region. The article states that on the territory of the district "there is an increase in COVID-19 infection cases, which coincides with the seasonal rise in the incidence of acute respiratory infections and influenza."

Lidskaya Hazeta published bad news for its readers already in mid-October. "The second wave of COVID-19, unfortunately, turned out to be no less serious: there is an increase in the number of patients in whom the infection has a more severe course, the number of oxygen-dependent forms has increased," it wrote.

At the end of October, the Lida TV channel reported about 300 patients with pneumonia in a local hospital. But how many of them have pneumonia due to coronavirus was not specified.

The Smarhon newspaper Svetly Shlyakh reported back in September that there were not enough beds for infected patients, so the additional unit was allocated for this.

"50 out of 60 beds are occupied"

Specific figures are rarely given in regional newspapers. One of the exceptions here is Dobrush Region. "Currently, planned hospitalizations are suspended. In the therapeutic unit of the hspital, 60 beds are provided for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Now 50 of them are occupied. Patients with moderate pneumonia are hospitalized in the district hospital," it says. "We are sending 'difficult' cases to the regional center," the newspaper reported in the second half of October.

Surprisingly, Vesnik Hlybochchyny produces statistics more or less regularly. Thanks to the newspaper, we know that at the end of October there were 102 people infected with coronavirus in the region, a third of them had pneumonia.

In mid-October, Dzvinskaya Prauda reported 81 cases of coronavirus in the Verkhnyadzvinsk region. There is no more relevant data though.

At the end of October, in the Klimavichy district, 110 people suffered from coronavirus infection. As many as 29 patients were hospitalized, another 81 were treated on an outpatient basis. Among the sick were medical workers, the newspaper Rodnaya Niva reported. At the same time, the hospital has only 40 beds where patients with coronavirus infection can be treated, and only 5 ventilators.

According to the newspaper Narodny Holas, in the Yelsk region the situation is not that bad: at the end of October, 30 people were ill, of whom only seven were in the hospital.

Not saying anything, but be careful

In the overwhelming majority of cases, regional newspapers do not give figures on morbidity in their regions. Sometimes there are interviews with local officials and infectious disease specialists, which can in essence be reduced to "everything is under control."

At the same time, newspapers do not ignore the topic of COVID-19. All of them reprint BelTA’s messages on the incidence of diseases in the country, regularly write about preventive measures and how to behave if you get sick or become a first level contact. True, next to the allegations of a completely controlled situation, calls for extreme accuracy and discretion do not seem fully reasoned.