Only pharmacies, grocery stores should remain open: Ukraine's health chief on minimizing Covid-19 spread
The threat posed by the coronavirus is greater than ever, so the authorities must act immediately. In particular, shut down catering establishments and shopping malls, says Minister of Health Ilya Yemets.
On his Facebook page, he claimed someone had been telling him not to "escalate the situation, because it supposedly wreaks havoc."
"But I should remind you that we are not in a totalitarian state in order to hush up the truth," the head of the Ministry of Health noted.
"Financial well-being or social status don't matter to the infection. World-famous politicians, actors, and ordinary people get sick. Today, enemy No.1 not only for Ukrainian society, but for the whole world is a deadly infection, coronavirus," the minister wrote.
According to him, the world community did not immediately recognize the magnitude of the threat.
"By the bitter example of other countries, we see what delay can lead to. Each hour can cost hundreds or even thousands of human lives," the minister wrote. “We have no right to wait for the mass spread of infection among Ukrainians. We must act immediately and be proactive, act tough and without exceptions," said Yemets.
He said that it was necessary to close public catering establishments and shopping centers, sparing only pharmacies and grocery stores. It is also necessary to restrict movement within the country, Yemets believes, as well as introduce a remote mode of work for employees, review the mode of public transport operations and limit the permitted attendance at gatherings to 10 people.
"Hospitals should be immediately reorganized to host infected patients, taking into account the developments. Only urgent cases need to be handled. All planned activities should be canceled and all resources allocated to prepare for the fight against infection. In addition, the Ministry of Health is actively collecting the best epidemiologists in Ukraine and including them in the Operational Headquarters so that we can respond even faster to the new challenges that the epidemic poses," said the minister.
Yemets called on Ukrainians not to be frivolous and not to panic, but to mobilize, get themselves together and help themselves, their loved ones, and their fellow citizens.
"Successful experience in other countries has shown that self-isolation is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease. Be responsible, take care of yourself and your loved ones," the minister summed up.