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12.03.2020
Photo: Iryna HORBASOVA/Hromada

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the pandemic of the respiratory coronavirus COVID-19. This means that more than 50% of the world’s population can become sick. Several European countries have already introduced quarantine sanctions and Ukraine has become one of them.

As of March 12, three cases of COVID-19 disease have been laboratory-confirmed in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, patients are isolated, they are given symptomatic treatment, and work with contacts is going on.

As for Donetsk region, according to the information of the Donetsk Regional State Administration, three suspected coronavirus were recorded in the region, but the laboratory did not confirm them. From March 12 to April 3, 223 educational institutions (including extracurricular) declared quarantine, and 267 thousand children were affected by it.

Measures have been taken to prevent coronavirus from entering through the Mariupol port and four control points of entry/exit of the region (temperature screening). The control points of entry/exit will work as normal, under the special orders of the Joint Forces Operation.

Infectious hospitals for staying people with suspected diseases were identified – in Myrnohrad, Kostiantynivka and Mariupol (hospital No. 4 is provided for children, ambulance hospital – for adults). The Regional State Administration assures that family doctors are aware of the necessary protocols and advise in case of illness to consult these doctors – with a list of symptoms and (importantly!) the information about whether a person was abroad. This information seems to be the trigger for the COVID-19 test assignment. After all, it is not possible to test for coronavirus all patients with symptoms of respiratory infection: laboratories in Donetsk region are not equipped with the necessary equipment, so if necessary, the materials of analysis will be examined in Dnipro. It is impossible to buy a test system for independent use.

The Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine urges not to spread panic and to follow the rules of necessary prevention. It assures that 605 artificial respiration devices that are available in infectious hospitals are enough to carry out the necessary resuscitation (coronavirus affects the lungs; it causes severe form of pneumonia). The disease caused by coronavirus , they suggest not to call “fatal disease”, as the mortality rate is 3.4%. However, 20% of the diseases are severe. Older people with chronic illnesses are at risk.

The medical mask cannot protect against infection, but helps not to touch with dirty hands of the nose and mouth (the virus lives on the surfaces and is transmitted through the mucous membranes). Since there are no more masks in pharmacies, it will be easy to remember the past and make it on your own. If you are already ill, the mask will save from the infection of others – there are no other medical means of prevention.

How to protect yourself from viral infections:

  • avoid contact with people who have cold symptoms. The minimum safe distance is 1.5 m
  • wash your hands frequently with soap during 20 seconds and/or use an antiseptic in which the alcoholic content is at least 60-80%
  • eat products after sufficient thermal treatment; do not eat raw meat, meat by-products and eggs
  • avoid touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth), handshake. Welcome differently – knock your fists or elbows, just nod and more
  • if you have the first symptoms of ARVI, contact your family doctor immediately.

One last point – help the elderly not to be in danger. Beforehand, buy them medicines and food so they do not go to the pharmacies and stores. We will significantly increase the chances of “risk groups” not to get sick if we take care at least about “ours”. When you will have a desire and inspiration – take care about those who, maybe, is not your own, but is near.

Vlad SUPRUNENKO/Gromada Skhid No. 4 (13) 2020