Ukraine's Health Ministry warns of COVID-19 surge after mass quarantine violations on Easter

16:00, 21 April 2020
Ukraine
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REUTERS

"The [quarantine] was in general observed if we compare to the previous year, when 7.5 million Ukrainians participated in church services, but 130,000 were still [in churches], and these 130,000, if they were indoors, in a cramped room and contracted – this is a large number that can give us a significant surge in the incidence of coronavirus disease in the future. On average, we will see this in five-seven days after the Easter holidays," he said during a morning TV show, "Snidanok z 1+1," on April 21.

Read alsoUkraine reports 415 new coronavirus cases, incl. 10 deaths, in past day

According to Liashko, one infected person can infect two others.

"A surge may occur if people were infected... What statistics we've seen – how many we've seen priests, monks infected indoors – there will be a surge for sure. The main question is: what kind of surge will it be? And how should we prepare for this," he added.

Liashko said the Health Ministry was intensively preparing for a possible outbreak of the epidemic in those settlements where the largest number of church members attended the Easter service.

"Today, certain towns, in particular Pochayiv, are locked down. We prepare hospitals in those district centers that have not been designated to receive patients, but church services were held there. We reformat the forces. It's all complicated, it's all a burden on the health care system," the official said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged Ukrainian citizens to comply with the quarantine and stay at home on Easter.

Almost 130,000 people converged on churches across Ukraine on Sunday, April 19, to celebrate Easter. In 19 instances, the police recorded a violation of quarantine restrictions.

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