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Belarus President Refuses To Cancel Anything And Says Vodka And Saunas Will Stop Coronavirus

Belarus President Refuses To Cancel Anything And Says Vodka And Saunas Will Stop Coronavirus

Alexander Lukashenko even took part in a game of ice hockey over the weekend

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd

As the world goes into lockdown, the president of Belarus is instead urging people to drink vodka and go to saunas.

Over the weekend Alexander Lukashenko played a game of ice hockey and the nation's football matches were played as normal - while other countries have postponed all games.

Belarusian Premier League soccer match over the weekend.
Shutterstock

After taking part in the ice hockey match on Saturday, President Lukashenko declared that sport 'is the best anti-virus remedy'. He added that it's 'better to die standing on your feet than to live on your knees.'

This isn't the first controversial statement Mr Lukashenko has come out with. Sky News reported that weeks ago he suggested that Belarusians should drink 50ml of vodka a day to ward off the virus, but not at work - advice that is completely at odds with recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

He also said that regular trips to the sauna, working in fields and having breakfast on time are the best days to remain healthy.

Mr Lukashenko.
PA

According to the Belarusian Telegraph Agency, the president said: "We are not cancelling anything. We will host all the events we have planned ... Let God protect us from the coronavirus."

He has also vowed that the nation will still celebrate Victory Day on 9 May - a day when elderly veterans from World War Two parade through the streets. As many elderly people across the world are being treated as being at high risk.

Fans cheer, as they are watching the Belarusian Premier League soccer match between FC Minsk and FC Dinamo-Minsk.
Shutterstock

Despite the president's suggestions of drinking vodka, the World Health Organization has warned people against picking up the bottle during the pandemic.

Dr Aiysha Malik, a technical officer at WHO Europe's mental health and substance abuse department, said using alcohol as a coping mechanism during self-isolation isn't a helpful strategy.

Dr Malik says turning to booze 'can make things worse' and can exacerbate problems already there or create addictions that could have been avoided.

Health experts are now warning governments and bottle shops to be aware of this situation.

Caterina Giorgi, chief executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, told the SMH: "Once people start using alcohol to cope with anxiety, that's a slippery slope.

"If you're sitting around and drinking alcohol all day then you're not being as healthy as you can be. It might not seem a lot but it adds up over time for chronic disease, and it weakens your immunity to be able to fight Covid-19 if you do get it."

Let's all bring some positivity, support and fun to anyone who might find themselves in isolation as a result of the coronavirus spread. Need some entertainment? Join Isolation Nation: https://www.facebook.com/groups/coronasupport/

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: News, Coronavirus