MINSK, May 22 (Sputnik) - The World Bank said on Friday that it had green-lighted 90 million euros ($98 million) aid package to prop up Belarus’ health sector amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In early May, the country’s First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Krutoy said that Minsk expected to get 90 million euros from the financial institution soon to support the health care system. The World Bank is currently financing nine projects worth $942 million in Belarus.
"The World Bank has approved a €90 million package to help Belarus take effective and timely action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the country’s national healthcare system," the institution said in a statement.
The aid, according to the bank, would address the health sector’s "immediate needs for medical equipment, supplies, and training to treat severe cases of COVID-19, including through provision of modern ventilators, pain medication, and antibiotics, as well as personal protective equipment for health workers."
In addition, the project will strengthen public health laboratories and finance awareness campaign on social distancing and hygiene measures.
The World Bank country manager, Alex Kremer, stressed that all these measures would have the most effect when combined with social distancing, such as canceling large gatherings, reducing physical presence in workplaces and educational facilities, as well as limiting non-essential movements.
Belarus has refrained from introducing economic lockdown or movement restrictions. As of Friday, the country updated its COVID-19 tally to 34,303 cases. For more than two weeks, daily increase has been over 900 cases. A total of 190 people have died since the start of the epidemic.