Foto af engin akyurt hos Unsplash

According to a professor, it is not enough to close down Lviv and Kyiv. There is a need for a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19. 

Kyiv and Lviv have introduced new strict quarantine rules in recent days, where the number of Covid-19 cases in Ukraine has soared. Last day, Ukraine recorded 15,292 new cases and 260 further deaths, indicating a new third wave, but the government has been reluctant to introduce a new nationwide lockdown. 

Professor Olha Golubovska, Head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Bogomolets National Medical University, says that the government needs to act. 

“I believe it needs to be introduced across the country. Because if we do not have it throughout the country, it means the regions that are now calm will break out later. The same was with measles. Luhansk and Donetsk regions were the last to break out,” she said in an interview for the Ukrainian online news outlet Obozrevatel.

“When I look at a crowd at concerts, I immediately imagine how many people may get infected, and immediately think how much oxygen will be needed and where to get it… Restrictive measures are necessary. This will at least reduce the number of new cases. The load will still remain because there are seriously ill patients now, but there will be more patients who will get more seriously ill for a while,” Golubovska said.

Entering the third wave

Despite the spike in new cases, the Ukrainian government has been reluctant to close down the whole country. Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal says that Ukraine is entering the third wave but that Ukraine only needs to stick with the adaptive quarantine. 

“We need to realize the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic has begun in Ukraine. What tools do we have? Adaptive quarantine. You see, the red level and tough lockdown have been introduced in Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, and Zhytomyr regions. Vinnytsia region is next in line, the orange level is introduced in Zakarpattia, Ternopil and other regions,” said Shmyhal, according to Unian

The government is under pressure from entrepreneurs, who are afraid that a new nationwide quarantine will put them out of business. Several entrepreneurs were protesting against the lockdown around the country Friday, and it is not unlikely that there will be further demonstrations if the lockdown continues for long. 

“The entrepreneurs came out to show that they exist and want the government to listen to them because small businesses will die if restrictions are imposed again. Last year, the quarantine was also introduced in spring, during which entrepreneurs suffered huge losses. The state did not support them and demanded the payment of taxes,” Chairperson of Cherkasy entrepreneurs’ trade union Olha Rakova told Unian at a demonstration of entrepreneurs in Cherkasy. 

The government divides the country into red, orange, yellow, and green zones, dependent on Covid-19 cases. Shmyhal says that the quarantine will remain adoptive and only become nationwide if all regions turn red. 

Vaccinations are slow

Around 11,000 are vaccinated every day in Ukraine at the moment, which is much slower than in countries in, for example, Scandinavia. 92,000 Ukrainians have received their first shot, where people in the military and the medical workers are prioritized.

According to the Ukrainian health minister, Ukrainians can sign up to receive the vaccination online, and more than 290,000 have decided to do so. 

“Over 290,000 people have already signed up for the waiting list through information resources, including through the Diia (Action) mobile application,” Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said to Unian

When you are vaccinated, you will be able to get a certificate both electronically and in writing by your local doctor, which should allow you to travel, says Shmyhal. 

“The current state register of vaccinated persons provides for the automatic print of such an international document. Anyone who has been vaccinated can get such a certificate signed by a doctor even today,” the Prime Minister said.