A nurse at a COVID hospital in Toretsk. Foto: Emil FIltenborg.

From Thursday next week, the fifth of August, Ukraine will again be requiring PCR tests for all unvaccinated travellers.

Ukraine is taking a step back from the relaxing COVID 19 restrictions, that has been in place in the country since the lockdown was eased in the end of spring. First and foremost, all unvaccinated people travelling to Ukraine will be required to show a negative PCR test, reports Interfax-Ukraine.

The test needs to have been taken within 72 hours of entry. It is still required by travellers to have a valid insurance policy. Furthermore, all unvaccinated travellers will need to install the Vdoma application on their phone.

The app, which by now should be well known to everyone travelling in and out of Ukraine, will then start a self-isolation after 72 hours, should the traveller not have obtained a negative test in Ukraine after arrival. Anyone refusing to download the app will be denied entry.

Secretive statisticis

During the summer, an uptick in new cases have been registered in Ukraine. According to Kyiv Post, 916 new cases were registered on July 30th, yesterday. The total number is now over 2.25 million total cases since the pandemic reached Ukraine last year.

Worryingly, 510 COVID-19 patients recovered yesterday, while 15 died. One can conclude that people catch the virus at a faster rate than patients recovering, adding pressure to the healthcare system.

Still, while these numbers are relatively low for a country with a population of around 40 million people, there is a large margin of error due to the continued low test frequency. Only 20,659 PCR tests and 7,895 antibody tests were conducted yesterday.

Over the course of the pandemic, 11.3 million PCR tests have been completed and analysed. This is roughly one fourth of the population, begging the question: How many people have really had the virus since the outbreak? And how many people carry the virus in Ukraine now?