UARU
Ukraine Says It Has a Plan to Prevent Entry of Coronavirus
3 February, 2020
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Travellers wear masks in the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China on January 22, 2020. EPA-EFE/JEROME FAVRE

During an extraordinary meeting, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a plan to prevent the entry and spread of a new coronavirus from China on the territory of Ukraine. Separate regional plans for individual areas are also being devised.

This was announced by Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk.

He stated that regional hospitals should be prepared for cases of illness, and determine the need for medicine and equipment.

The government has also obliged medical institutions to provide training "on the willingness to accept potential patients." The Ministry of Health is to monitor the whole process and assist with methodology.

Government agencies also recommend temporarily refraining from travel and business trips to Hubei and Wuhan, which are at the highest risk of infection, and, if possible, delay their travel to other territories of China.

This comes a few days after two people returning from China on February 1 turned to Boryspil Airport for fear of contracting 2019-nCoV coronavirus – they had been preliminarily diagnosed with ARVI and hospitalized. This was reported by the press service of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.

It is also reported that Chinese students studying in Ukraine have had their vacations extended.

“The government has also established a high alert regime for all civil protection systems. All relevant services are ready for rapid mobilization,” Honcharuk added.

Earlier, on the air of the TV channel "Ukraine", Honcharuk assured that there are at least two teams of infectious disease specialists in each Ukrainian region. He stressed that Ukrainian specialists are in constant coordination with the World Health Organization.

Background

In December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia caused by an unidentified pathogen was recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan (Hubei Province). It was later learned that the virus was transmitted from person to person.

In an effort to limit the spread of the virus, China imposed full or partial restrictions on movement in 15 cities, including the complete isolation of Wuhan, which houses more than 11 million people.

Outside China, dozens of infections have been reported, including in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, the US, Singapore, Vietnam, Nepal, France, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Cambodia, Germany, Finland and India. Some countries are trying to evacuate their citizens from China and suspend air travel.

In China, 328 people previously infected with coronavirus have been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency on January 30.

Currently, the new infection is manifested as pneumonia or other respiratory diseases. According to the WHO, the virus is likely to have spread from animals to humans, but is also capable of spreading from person to person. Its symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Scientists note the similarity of the new coronavirus to another virus, which is the causative agent of a potentially life-threatening severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The outbreak of the disease in 2002-2003 killed more than 700 people worldwide. Then the outbreak too began in China and infected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries.

According to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Ukraine plans to evacuate its citizens from China due to the spread of the coronavirus by the end of this week. This was announced by a health ministry rep Andriy Skipalskyi at a press conference on February 3.

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