MINSK: Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday denounced “psychosis” over the coronavirus pandemic, warning the panic could be more destructive than the infection itself.
“I call this coronavirus nothing but psychosis and I will stand by this,” the Belarusian leader said at a government meeting according to his office.
“Together we have lived through many psychoses, and we know what they have led to. I’m certain that this is another psychosis that will benefit some and harm others.”
“I am absolutely sure that we can suffer more from the panic than the virus itself.”
In power since 1994, the 65-year-old leader this week called on the Belarusians to keep calm and work the land.
“The tractor will heal everyone. The fields heal everyone,” he has said.
He said on Thursday that “excessive quarantining” does not work but promised to test anyone who was in contact with a coronavirus patient.
He also urged the government to help some 8,000 Belarusians stuck abroad.
The country of 9.4 million people wedged between Russia and the EU has reported 51 confirmed coronavirus cases.