Cabinet of Ministers - Photo from UNIAN

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine at Wednesday's meeting adopted a series of decisions that could affect the lives of Ukrainians in the coming weeks.

National quarantine has been extended and national emergency situation has been introduced throughout the country until April 24.

The Government recalls that a state of emergency and national emergency are not the same thing.

A national emergency is a temporary regime introduced in case of disruption of normal life of the population, as it is now as regards the spread of coronavirus.

  • Its implementation provides that authorities, primarily civil defense services, are put on alert to overcome the epidemic.
  • No direct government intervention in the management of private companies or restrictions of rights and freedoms of Ukrainians are expected. The emergency situation regime is provided for by the Civil Protection Code.

A state of emergency is a special legal regime where individual human rights may be restricted, while state authorities may be granted additional powers.

Thus, the emergency situation regime, introduced by government for 30 days, concerns, to a greater extent, state officials and civil defense services. At the same time, it does not apply to private companies and citizens who are not involved in tackling the consequences of the epidemic.

The declaration of an emergency situation is necessary in order to improve coordination of all services, strengthen measures for the protection of health, public order, disinfection of territories, and the like. An emergency situation is where government bodies do more and attract more resources so that citizens stay healthy and protected.

Emergency situation regime implies no drastic changes in everyday life of citizens in Ukraine. The rules remain the same – to stay home, not to leave premises without an urgent need, to wash hands, to use protective gear, and in case symptoms surface, to consult a doctor.

The government’s decision to introduce an emergency is due to the fact that cases of COVID-19 have already been detected in 13 regions and the city of Kyiv. Now a decision has been made that it will be valid for 30 days – until April 24. But if the situation improves, these terms will be revised.

In addition to these decisions, the Cabinet of Ministers today decided the following:

  • To properly equip checkpoints in emergency zones with a mandatory medical examination of citizens and allowing passage only following such medical examination of persons and disinfection of vehicles;
  • To attract to working at those checkpoints staff and equipment of the Ministry of Health, the National Police, the National Guard, the State Emergencies Service, and the State Food and Beverage Service;
  • All premises, motorways, and sidewalks shall undergo thorough disinfection; and
  • Assistance shall be provided to vulnerable groups of the population with the involvement of social workers, public and volunteer organizations.

Healthcare facilities are entitled to:

  • Carry out compulsory medical examination of persons with symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have been in contact with infected persons – if they refuse to be examined voluntarily;
  • Carry out compulsory hospitalization of such persons; and
  • Put on quarantine persons diagnosed with COVID-19 and those who evade voluntary treatment.

The latest developments do disrupt the normal way of life of citizens.

Therefore, the government is intensifying its work to fight the coronavirus spread, keep streets safe, and help the vulnerable.