Covid-19 cases in the region are down from the previous week. However, there is a significant risk of more severe illness and death. It is because of the low vaccination rates of Ukraine. Further, that is prevalent among the more than two million people who have fled the country to surrounding areas and regions with low vaccination rates. As to ‘Our World In Data,’ Ukraine’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is around 34%, while neighboring that of Moldova is around 29%.
According to a WHO situation report released on Sunday, 791,021 new Covid-19 cases and 8,012 new deaths in Ukraine and neighboring countries between March 3 and 9.
The WHO’s technical lead on covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said that, unfortunately, this virus would take advantage of opportunities to continue to spread. As an organization, they identify that countries are in very distinct situations. They face different challenges. There was a lot of movement, so refugees associated with that crisis.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, further said that there would be an increase in Covid-19 in Ukraine undoubtedly. He stated that the ‘projected increase’ to a lack of testing, vaccine disruption, and a stressed, war-weary population with already low vaccination rates led to an increase in Covid-19.
Ryan added that ‘the world’ should evade stereotypes about refugees and disease.
He said that let them be very careful with their rhetoric because it would always come up that somehow people fleeing the horrors of war would bring things with them. Europe has a lot of Covid and has to deal with it, and the Ukrainian refugees would not’ turn the dial’ on that issue.
The report said the WHO has purchased therapies for COVID-19 and recommends vaccination campaigns and enhanced surveillance for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Hungary provides Ukrainian refugees with free COVID-19 vaccinations. The WHO has also offered ‘laboratory support,’ which includes ‘COVID-19 Tests’.
The Romanian Ministry of Health has deputed their medical teams to test and administer covid-19 vaccines to Ukrainians who have fled their country.
In Slovakia, Covid-19 treatment is provided free of charge. Also, in Moldova, Covid-19 vaccinations are free for Ukrainians, with its health ministry testing and monitoring covid-19, among other diseases.
In a joint statement, WHO, with UNICEF and UNFPA, called for an end to attacks on Ukraine’s health systems. As of now, there have been 31 verified attacks on health care facilities, with more suspected.
The WHO statement said that Humanitarian partners and health workers must safely maintain and strengthen the delivery of essential health services. That includes immunization against COVID-19 and polio and the supply of vital medicines to civilians across Ukraine Health services must be systematically available at border crossings, including immediate care and referral processes for children and pregnant women.