COVID-19 in Ukraine: Outlook for Pandemic’s Impact on Ukraine’s Economy, Politics and Society
Minister of Health of Ukraine on COVID-19: we have reached the point of no return
The United States provided $ 41 million in assistance to Ukraine in the fight against COVID-19
The Minister of Health of Ukraine Maxim Stepanov called on the country’s residents to be responsible in the prevention and fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking in the Verkhovna Rada on November 3, the minister said that “each of us bears personal responsibility for the spread of coronavirus disease.”.
“There are difficult times ahead. Many will not like the following words, but it is a fact: there is no one separately responsible for the fight against COVID-19. No one in the world is able to independently solve the problem of coronavirus. Moreover, no one will solve this problem for anyone. It will not be possible to slip through, “Stepanov said..
He noted that he is addressing “every Ukrainian” and urged to realize that “we have reached the point of no return and are close to disaster”.
The Minister of Health explained that “no matter how we try to increase the number of beds, there is still a limit.”.
“And in the case when the occupancy rate is one hundred percent, we will have to apply the activation of triage protocols with the priority of providing medical care to patients with a high chance of survival. And this will mean that our medical system has failed. In fact, it will be a disaster! ” – said the minister.
The website of the Ukrainian government emphasizes that over the past day, another anti-record was set in the country for the number of new cases of COVID-19 – 8,899 cases. According to operational information, by the morning of November 3, there were 411093 confirmed cases of COVID-19 disease in the country, 168868 recovered, and 7532 deaths..
USA provided equipment to Ukraine
USAID Provides Essential Equipment for COVID-19 Patients to Ukrainian Hospitals, US Embassy in Ukraine reports.
“In general, this is the equipment needed to diagnose possible respiratory complications in those infected with coronavirus who are on mechanical ventilation. This equipment will be received by eighteen medical institutions in thirteen regions of the country “, – noted in a press release for October 30.
The report notes that USAID intends to provide assistance to Ukraine and other countries of the world to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put Ukrainian hospitals in a difficult position because they do not have enough specialized equipment to provide patients with oxygen. […] But the supply of these devices is just one of the elements of much larger USAID events in Ukraine, the purpose of which is to provide Ukrainian doctors with the equipment they need, ”said USAID Mission Director in Ukraine Jim Hope.
Since March 2020, USAID has provided $ 19 million in additional support to Ukraine to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic. In total, at the moment, the US government has allocated $ 41 million to assist Ukraine in measures to counter COVID-19, the message emphasizes..
On the fight against COVID-19 – why only now?
President of the Ukrainian Analytical Center, economist Alexander Okhrimenko believes that before the date of local elections – October 25 – the government announced the use of all means to fight the coronavirus.
“And today we see that she is disclaiming responsibility – the need for PR has disappeared and all responsibility has been shifted onto the local authorities for providing hospitals and the population – why doesn’t they wash their hands, they don’t wear masks,” Okhrimenko told the correspondent of the Russian service “Voices America “.
Quarantine measures, stopping the economy since March, he said, did not give positive results in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As soon as the quarantine and lockdown were introduced, there were statements that the situation would improve. They organized a fund to fight the coronavirus crisis – but it didn’t work either. Today, the authorities openly admit that there are not enough doctors and specialists, there is no capacity – beds. And what have you been doing all these six months, I would like to ask? ” – says the expert.
In his opinion, the coronavirus fund legally finances the construction of roads and other infrastructure facilities in the country..
“When the law on the fund was adopted, an item of expenditure was added there and“ for other urgent measures based on expediency ”- this is a broad concept, but in fact the Cabinet of Ministers, without violating laws, has the right to use money for urgent measures – construction of roads,” notes Alexander Okhrimenko.
Responsibility or threat
Political scientist Valentin Bushansky calls “surprising” the statement of the Minister of Health of Ukraine on personal responsibility for the non-proliferation of coronavirus.
“Stepanov’s statement in this regard is beneficial to the president’s authorities, because the fight against coronavirus can be used to combat popular protests in Ukraine. We must pay attention to the fact that this government is being harassed, it cannot cope with the growth of the coronavirus in Ukraine, economic challenges, and the challenges of the war in Donbass. In essence, this government does not see the prospects for the country’s development – a constitutional crisis is imminent, “Bushansky said in an interview with the Voice of America Russian Service..
He believes that during the quarantine period since March 2020, the country has not yet taken into account the “positive” experience in the fight against coronavirus, which was demonstrated by Japan and Sweden..
“Today it is necessary to focus on financing the search for vaccines, medical development, instead, the authorities are stirring up mass hysteria, Minister Stepanov is threatening Ukrainians with responsibility. This is nonsense and a threat to democracy in Ukraine “, – emphasizes Valentin Bushansky.