The Health Ministry, together with the government and under the personal supervision of the president, is doing everything possible to prevent the COVID-19 coronavirus from entering Ukraine, to localise the virus if it reaches the country and to prevent the spread, Deputy Health Minister Viktor Lyashko has said at a roundtable "Coronavirus. Social and economic dimension" hosted by Gorshenin Institute.
"In Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers issued a decree on 3 February, which sets out the temporary conditions for restricting entry from Hubei. If such a person returns to Ukraine one way or another, he will spend 14 days in isolation in institutions designated by the Health Ministry. As of 26 January, Ukraine began to temperature screen all passengers who arrived on direct flights from China. There were many questions - why was it introduced on direct flights flight? After all, many get here by changing flights. However, according to WHO recommendations for diseases with an incubation period of 14 days, temperature screening is not particularly effective from an economic and epidemiological point of view," the deputy minister said.
"At the same time, when the clusters associated with coronavirus were monitored, practice showed that about 20% of cases were detected using temperature screening. Therefore, WHO suggested that all countries start to temperature screen direct flights. Everyone else who changed flights on the way was screened when they changed flights. At the same time, all civil defence systems were put on high alert, including the medical subsystem. This means that we have identified hospital facilities that will receive potential patients, while at airports sanitary-quarantine units enhanced operations and individual ambulance teams took to work to be able to quickly deliver patients to medical facilities that have special quarantine boxes. Such institutions have been identified all over Ukraine," he said.
According to Lyashko, the ministry is now assessing the need for protective equipment and is preparing to make necessary purchases.
"We also conducted several rounds of assessing the need for personal protective equipment and medical devices for certain institutions. Now a new methodology is being approved in the Health Ministry in order to ensure a monthly and three-month supply of personal protective equipment. We work with the State Reserve and literally at the stage of transferring a set of personal protective equipment from the State Reserve. In parallel, the Health Ministry is forming a proposal for the purchase of additional equipment in case of need. These are respirators, biological protection suits, and devices for artificial ventilation of lungs and other equipment," Lyashko noted.