Ukraine Receives Medical Equipment to Test for Coronavirus from China, More Expected
23 March, 2020
Covid-19 test kits are seen at the Regional Emergency Emergency Company AREU where boxes with supplies donated by China, containing medical equipment and personal protection devices for the whole of Lombardy, arrived at a storage warehouse in Rho, outside Milan, Italy, 20 March 2020. EPA-EFE/MOURA BALTI TOUATI

An Armed Forces IL-76 aircraft arrived in Kyiv from the Chinese city of Guangzhou, carrying equipment and tests needed to diagnose the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

According to the press service of the Office of the President of Ukraine, among the plane’s cargo, there are two types of coronavirus tests – rapid diagnostic tests (250,000 units), which almost immediately determine the presence of the virus 5-7 days after infection by specific antibodies, and PCR tests (521 tests intended to test up to 50,000 people), which are more accurate but only provide results a day later.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Ukraine: Confirmed Cases So Far

These tests come three days after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that 10 million tests would be delivered from China within two days. Initially, he promised that 1 million tests would arrive from China on March 21.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced a sufficient number of tests for the new coronavirus will be available in all regions of Ukraine by the end of March 23, and the Center for Public Health said that they’re handling distribution. 

“The Ministry of Health received 521 test systems, meant for 50,000 people, from China and transferred them to the CPH. The systems will be equally distributed to all regional laboratory centers,” commented CPH’s press secretary Valeria Salo.

After the aircraft was disinfected and unloaded, the National Guard, accompanied by doctors, began delivering the test systems to the regions using aviation and special vehicles. Doctors, servicemen, police officers, State Border Service will be among the first to receive the equipment.

"Medical masks of varying degrees of protection, disinfectants, ventilators and other means necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19 have also been delivered," reads the statement by the Office of the President.

The Presidential Office added that a few more flights carrying medical supplies are expected this week from China.

According to recent data, 307,280 people have been infected in the world since the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. In total, 13,049 died and 92,376 others recovered.

READ MORE: “Ukrainian Doctors Are Ready to Fight Coronavirus” - Ex-Deputy Health Minister

As of the evening of March 22, 73 cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection were officially confirmed in Ukraine: in Chernivtsi (25), Zhytomyr (2), Kyiv (5), Donetsk (1), Dnipropetrovsk (2), Ivano-Frankivsk (2), Lviv (2), Ternopil (1) regions and in Kyiv city (29).

Three of them were fatal – a 71-year-old woman died in the Zhytomyr region, a 56-year-old woman in Ivano-Frankivsk, and a 33-year-old woman in Chernivtsi. One person has reported recovery.