In South America, it is Brazil’s President Bolsonaro who is still not taking Corona seriously. And in Europe? There it is the President of Belarus, Lukashenko. That worries the neighboring countries – and football fans in Belarus.
In Lithuania, concern is growing about the lack of measures against the corona epidemic in neighboring Belarus (Belarus). "We see that it could be an unmanaged, uncontrolled trouble spot," said Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis. If the authoritarian leadership in Minsk does not show an "appropriate" reaction to the coronavirus crisis, the Baltic EU country will close its borders completely and strengthen border security.
Unlike in Lithuania, there are hardly any restrictions on public life in Belarus due to the spread of the coronavirus. Schools, shops and restaurants are open.
"We take care – without noise"
President Alexander Lukashenko had repeatedly railed against the "Corona panic" and downplayed the danger. According to his account, everyone who has had contact with an infected person is tracked with the help of the police, the KGB secret service and video cameras. "We take care of it. But without making any noise or raising dust," says the head of state.
Officially 163 infected people and two deaths
According to official information, two people have died of the coronavirus in Belarus so far, the number of infections is 163. However, it is not clear how much data from the authoritarian country can be trusted.
Still flights from Minsk to Vilnius
Lithuania has so far recorded 581 confirmed coronavirus infections and eight deaths. The government in Vilnius decided to suspend international air and ferry traffic from April 4th. She had previously declared a state of emergency and quarantined the country until April 13.
According to Skvernelis, the Belarusian airline Belavia still flies regularly from Minsk to Vilnius. "A few" people also continued to cross the land border between the two neighboring countries.
Fan groups call for a boycott of the games
In Belarus itself, too, there is increasing criticism of Lukashenko’s policies – not only from the opposition, which accuses the president of negligence. Fan groups of two soccer clubs in the country called on their supporters not to go to the games because of the corona pandemic. Unlike in the rest of Europe, neither football nor other sports are paused in the ex-Soviet republic. The stadiums were also well attended recently.
The supporters of the club FK Njoman Hrodna wrote on Instagram: "It is obviously difficult for us to decide not to continue supporting the team. But the most important thing is people’s health." The fan group of FK Shakhtsjor Salihorsk made a similar statement. The games should only be attended again if the epidemiological situation allows.
The management of Shakhtsjor Salihorsk made at least one recommendation to the fans. No pensioners, children and sick people should come to the game next Saturday. And for the other: "Try to keep at least one seat away in the stands."