Denis Sjmygal. Foto: Den ukrainske regering - kmu.gov.ua

Shmyhal said that it would be possible to complete the vaccination of over 70 percent of all adults during next year. He also said that for now, the adaptive lockdown would need to be extended at least until August. 

The Ukrainian government has previously said that the third wave of Covid-19 has passed. However, it will still take a long time before the pandemic is something in the past. Vaccination is slow, with only around two percent of the population vaccinated, but Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says that herd immunity will be achieved.

“Next year, we plan to complete the vaccination of over 70% of the adult population, which makes it possible to develop herd immunity,” he said, according to Unian.

He added that the majority of the adult population will be vaccinated by late 2021 and made it clear that vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic. The Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov recently said that Ukraine will receive double the amount of Pfizer vaccines in 2021, compared to what was expected for the year. 

“We’ve been able to double the supply of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this calendar year. That is, we will receive 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine instead of 10 million doses,” he said at a briefing to Unian. He informed that the government also has secured more vaccines from China, which will help achieve herd immunity. 

Lockdown will be extended

The Ukrainian government said that it is expecting the Indian strain of the virus to reach Ukraine soon. The Indian variant is more dangerous and can quickly spread and become a problem for Ukraine. Shmyhal, therefore, said that the adaptive quarantine currently in place with likely be extended to August. It is currently in effect until June 30, but an extension is needed, he informed. 

“We will probably extend it until August. If we manage to vaccinate most people by Independence Day, of course, we will look for options to ease it,” Shmyhal said, “Therefore, whether there’ll be new lockdowns or not will depend on discipline, vaccination, and pandemic developments in the world in general, on whether new strains will appear or not. These are main indicators. I think there are no other indicators that will have an impact on the adaptive quarantine model.”

The adaptive quarantine is a system where every region in Ukraine is categorized either green, orange, or red, depending on the number of infected in the region. Regions in the red will, for example, have to close all shops except supermarkets, pharmacies and other necessities. Also, public transportation will have to stop. 

Shmyhal made it clear that the government will stick with the adaptive quarantine for now, where, recently, several regions have left the red category.

A small number of infected in Ukraine

Ukraine reported 2,208 new cases yesterday, which is much lower than a couple of months ago, during the peak of the third wave. 89 children and 34 healthcare workers were among the people who tested positive, according to Unian. 1,084 new patients were hospitalized, and 119 died in the past 24 hours. The Ukrainian Health Ministry informs that 21,974 corona tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. 

Ukrainian Health Minister: Indian coronavirus strain will come to Ukraine

The total death toll in Ukraine has reached 46,631, with 2,124,535 confirmed Covid-cases in the country. Ukraine, however, is testing a lot less than other countries, such as the countries in Scandinavia, so the actual number might be much higher. The government informs that 2,194 people were vaccinated in the past day against Covid-19. A total of 865,588 have received the first shot in Ukraine with a population of around 40 million.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko informed that Kyiv had recorded 98 new cases in the past day with 12 further deaths.