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Coronavirus At Belarusian NPP: Over 100 People Hospitalized

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Coronavirus At Belarusian NPP: Over 100 People Hospitalized

Residents of Astravets are concerned about the news about hospitalization of workers.

More than 100 employees of the Astravets NPP are being tested for the coronavirus: they could contact 15 Russians who have the confirmed COVID-19 infection. All patients are hospitalized and isolated. They have no clinical manifestations, an epidemiological investigation is being carried out, the first level contacts are being established, the main health department of the regional executive committee reported, writes tut.by.

What is happening at the BelNPP in Astravets

Head of the information and public relations department of the Belarusian NPP Eduard Sviryd said that the Russians hospitalized with the coronavirus are the workers, for whom the general contractor Atomstroyexpert is responsible.

The fifteen patients in question are specialists from three subcontracting organizations, as it was confirmed by the communications department of the engineering division of the Rosatom state corporation.

What is happening the Russians who have the COVID-19

Resident of Smarhon, Darya, who used to work in a representative office of a Russian organization, said that there were installers from Volgodonsk among the sick.

- They came to work the shift. They say they were now sent to a hospital in Smarhon.

The main state sanitary doctor of the Astravets district, Jonas Tal, confirmed: all 15 people are now in the Smarhon hospital.

- An epidemiological investigation is being carried out.

No detailed information about the hospitalized workers could be clarified in official sources. Chief of Medicine at the Astravets Central District Hospital Uladzimir Mazheyka said he was not ready to answer questions yet. Journalists were also unable to contact the head of the main health department of the Hrodna Regional Executive Committee Alena Kratkova. Chairman of the Astravets District Executive Committee Ihar Shaludzin at first could not answer our call, as it was explained to us at the reception, and then “went away on business” with his deputy Henadz Bychko, who oversees health care.

An attempt to contact with the leadership of the Belarusian representative office of the Russian installation organization, whose workers were allegedly hospitalized with the coronavirus, also failed. In the Russian parent organization, not a single business phone indicated on the website answers.

“In connection with this situation, it’s one meeting after another now,” the director of the Belarusian representative office answered us.

It is not known exactly when the Russians hospitalized with COVID-19 arrived in Belarus - it is presumably that they arrived in late March. Health Minister Uladzimir Karanik noted that all foreigners who come to the BelNPP undergo laboratory testing. According to Karanik, these patients did not participate in start-up and commissioning, they were on a 14-day quarantine.

What about other NPP employees

An employee of the Astravets NPP Dzmitry said that Russians infected with the coronavirus lived in a dormitory, as well as most of the hospitalized possible contacts of the first level.

- People were taken directly from the house by buses, more than 100 people in total. Some gathered in groups and drove in personal cars, - the man added.

A resident of Astravets, who wished to remain anonymous, said that about 50 employees of the nuclear power plant were hospitalized at night. They were placed in the building of the former hospital.

- We recently built a new hospital, and all departments moved there. They wanted to repair the old buildings, but they did not even start work. Now here is the isolation zone. Here are all who could contact the infected. According to preliminary information, they are healthy, but they will be isolated here until the results of tests for the coronavirus come,” the woman said.

What is happening in Astravets

In Astravets itself, people are worried about the news on the hospitalization of workers. But such a scenario was expected, says a local resident:

- Many people come here to work - from the same Russia. And we are not surprised that someone brought the infection - this was supposed to happen sometime. Yes, the borders around Belarus are closed, but the Russian border was closed only on March 30. Then, the spread of the coronavirus was already known. Perhaps these workers just managed to come on duty just before the closure?

- People already began to wear masks. In stores, everyone is wearing a mask and gloves on their hands. In general, the situation is not so rosy,” said Ivan Fedaravich, a resident of Astravets.

- In our town, there suddenly became few people. Everywhere in stores, lines on the floor are drawn so that people keep their distance. All sellers are masked, - says a local resident Vadzim.

Also, many residents of Astravets, with whom we managed to talk, reported that a helicopter flew over the city today. The aircraft was also noticed in neighboring Varniany.

- Today, it flew twice, it was a low-level flight. It looked like a military helicopter. It made two circles here: over Astravets, over the village of Varniany, the nuclear power plant under construction, and went back, - said resident of Varniany Mikalai Mikhailavich.

The helicopter, as it turned out, was a military one indeed. The press-center of the Ministry of Defense reported that scheduled flights were taking place over Astravets today.