Belarus: The Country With No Restrictions, and No Disaster

Belarus has finally, after several months of delay, published its overall mortality figures up to March 2021, meaning for the first time we have a plausibly reliable indicator of the true impact of the pandemic in the country famous for refusing to impose even minimal measures.

Few have trusted the official Covid case and death statistics from the authoritarian country, which are implausibly low. However, the overall death statistics are generally thought to be reliable, and indeed by comparing them to neighbouring countries we can see that they are comparable, adding to the sense that they are accurate.

While the country did not impose any Covid restrictions or ‘guidance’ at all, there was some voluntary behaviour change, as mobility data shows, but it was limited compared with other places.