Coronavirus in Ukraine: How the country combats COVID-19 (LIVE Updates)

March 5, 2020
The Ukrainian government faces a challenge to prevent the virus from spreading and not letting panic take over.
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5 April, 17:41 - Some expert doctors argue that the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Ukraine is going to happen in early May, rather than in mid-April as previously suggested.

5 April, 14:38 - Viktor Lyashko, Ukraine's deputy healthcare minister says that coronavirus is spreading more slowly in Ukraine than in other countries. According to him, Ukraine went from 100 to 1200 cases in 9 days, whereas Italy had done so in 6 days, Spain - in 7 days and the US - in 8 days.

5 April, 12:38 - 114 Ukrainian military people are in isolation due to possible coronavirus infection, Ukraine's defence ministry reports. Three have confirmed COVID-19 decease.

5 April, 12:02 - Vitaliy Klychko, Kyiv's mayor, assumed that even private cars might be prohibited in Kyiv if the pandemic situation worsened.

5 April, 09:00 - UPD (10:06) - As of the morning of 5 April, Ukraine reports 1251 total coronavirus cases in the country; 32 people died from the disease in total, while 25 recovered.

4 April, 15:33 - In a few days, Ukraine will send humanitarian assistance and reanimation helicopter to Italy, Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov stressed.

4 April, 14:52 - Approximately 500 thousand people in Kyiv had to take unpaid vacations due to quarantine, Kyiv's mayor Vitaliy Klychko said. Klychko argued that most of these people will run out of money in a few weeks.

4 April, 13:45 - Ministry of health warns that the peak of morbidity in Ukraine related to coronavirus may happen in 10 days, as of 14 April.

4 April, 11:38 - In Kyiv, 214 coronavirus cases have been confirmed, Vitaliy Klychko, city's mayor, said. As he explained, 10 patients have been hospitalized, while 15 self-isolated under the control of doctors.

4 April, 9:54 - Foreign ministry reports 5 deaths of Ukrainian citizens from coronavirus abroad. At the same time, 11 Ukrainians abroad recovered, while 166 are receiving treatment for COVID-19.

3 April, 22:10 - Over 1,000: Ukraine reports 1072 total coronavirus cases in the country; 27 people died from the disease in total.

3 April, 18:50 - How Ukrainian volunteers and businesses help the country to combat COVID-19. Read in our article

3 April, 18:03 - Ukraine sends doctors to Italy to combat coronavirus. Ukraine's president Zelenskyi signed a decree "On humanitarian assistance to the Italian Republic"; according to the president's press service, Ukraine will send doctors and medical ethanol to Italy. The teams of the doctors will be put together by the health ministry and the ministry of home affairs.

3 April, 16:30 - Ukrainian government demands from businesses (pharmacies, banks, trade, telecoms shops etc) to ensure that their workers have face and eye protection, and that customers are equipped with these protection tools too. There should be no more than 1 customer per 10m2 in a shop, pharmacy or bank office, according to government's requirements.

3 April, 16:10 - 400 people in Kyiv have been diagnosed with pneumonia and are in Kyiv hospitals, said the city's mayor Vitaliy Klychko. All of them were tested for coronavirus, he adds.

3 April, 15:40 - An innovative startup school in Lviv launched 3D-printing of medical equipment needed to fight coronavirus. It will produce plastic safety screens and adapters for artificial ventilation equipment.

3 April, 13:50 - Ukraine steps up quarantine measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak, PM Denys Shmyhal announced. From 6 April, it is forbidden

  • to gather in groups of more than two, except for people who accompany their children;
  • to visit playgrounds, parks, squares, recreation areas, forest parks or coastal areas (except for one person to walk the pets and in case of emergency);
  • to be outside without documents;
  • for children under 14 years, to be in public places without parents.

Also, all people, arriving in Ukraine, will undergo a mandatory 14-days observation.

3 April, 12:55 - Quarantine restrictive measures might be weakened in the end of April if the dynamic of the spread of COVID-19 goes down, Ukraine's PM Denys Shmyhal says. This will help launch a "restart" of the economy, he adds.

3 April, 12:20 - Strict quarantine measures are imposed by the occupant government in Crimea, Hromadske reports. The restriction bans people from going outside further than 100 meters away from their houses. Those who breach the new regulations will face penalties from 30 to 40 thousand rubles (~400-500 USD), according to the decree issued by Russia's President Putin.

3 April, 11:40 - More than 8 500 Ukrainians, who are currently abroad, have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to evacuate them to Ukraine due to the pandemic. Around 13 800 citizens of Ukraine requested help from foreign diplomatic institutions.

3 April, 10:25 - Ukraine will tighten quarantine measures by imposing restrictions on the mobility of people "to avoid the Italian or Spanish scenario".

3 April, 10:00 - The official number of coronavirus cases climbs to 942 in Ukraine. 23 people died, 19 recovered, as of Friday morning.

2 April, 22:05 - The total number of coronavirus cases in Ukraine rises up to 897 on April 2nd; 22 people died of coronavirus disease.

2 April, 21:05 - Ukraine decided to close its region Bukovyna (Chernivtsi oblast) from April 3rd, fearing spread of coronavirus. 143 COVID-19 cases are registered in Bukovyna, out of 804 cases in Ukraine in total.

2 April, 20:17 - Coronavirus enters Ukrainian army: 2 soldiers are diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 2nd.

2 April, 14:50 - NV.ua published an article on how Ukrainian "elites" - MPs, judges, etc - got COVID infection in rich French resort Courchevel. Ukrainian business and political "beaumonde" has a "tradition" of spending holidays around 8 March (International Women's Day) on rich resorts like Courchevel visiting expensive restaurants, hotels and night clubs, NV.ua says.

2 April, 14:20 - Ukrainians are divided in their opinions whether the government should strengthen the quarantine against coronavirus. 43% believe that it should; 40% believe that measures currently applied are sufficient. 9% of citizens believe that the measures are too harsh and a lot of restrictions are not necessary. Source: opinion survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

2 April, 13:30 - 51% of business enterprises are capable to hold out for only 1 month, according to the survey. Almost 60% of business owners (mostly large and medium-sized businesses) continue their activity during the quarantine restrictions, 29% quit (mostly microbusiness).

2 April, 12:30 - 29 new cases of coronavirus and 1 fatal case confirmed in Kyiv, the city mayor Vitaliy Klychko announced. The number of cases has climbed to 161 in Ukraine's capital.

2 April, 11:50 - 20 victims of COVID-19 in Ukraine are people over the age of 50. The Chief Sanitary Doctor Viktor Liashko concludes that 88% of patients who died had serious cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neoplasms, kidney and lung diseases.

2 April, 10:20 - Ukraine confrms 804 cases of coronavirus infectious disease, the Ministry of Health reports. 20 patients died, 13 recovered. The first case of coronavirus is registered in

1 April, 18:02 - Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers plans to introduce new restrictions to combat COVID-19 outbreak. The following is now forbidden all over Ukraine:

  • to stay in public places without wearing face masks or respirators;
  • to move in groups of more than two people except it is operationally necessary or people accompany children;stay in public places for persons under 16 years of age without the accompaniment of adults;
  • to visit parks, squares, recreation areas, forests, and coastal areas except to walk a pet (by one person only) or it is operationally necessary;
  • to visit sports grounds and playgrounds;
  • to carry out all types of mass events (cultural, entertaining, sports, social, religious, advertising and other) involving more than 10 people except the measures necessary to ensure the work of public and local self-government bodies, etc.

1 April, 16:36 - Some 56% of citizens as "effective" President Zelensky's response to coronavirus threat, poll by Rating sociological group shows. As for the health ministry, 38% of respondents consider their efforts effective, while 46% say they are ineffective. Regarding the interior ministry, 37% consider their actions effective, 33% think they are ineffective, while 30% were not able to assess their efforts.

1 April, 15:58 - Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) uncovered a group of people who used fake accounts in social networks to spread disinfo about COVID-19 to destabilize the Ukrainian society. They were communicating with their handlers from Russia via the closed group in VK, Russian social network.

1 April, 14:50 - according to the poll by Rating sociological group, 56% of Ukrainians limited their movements and stay at home. 35% limited movements partially, while 9% introduced no limits. At the same time, 31% of respondents said they left home every day. Furthermore, 52% of respondents said they were ready to stay at home for five and more days without leaving if such limitations were introduced.

1 April, 14:05 - Ukrainian authorities are considerting imposition of tighter qaurantine measures. Wearing a mask may be obligatory from 6 to 24 April, and being outside may be restricted.

1 April, 13:15 - Ukrainian pharmacological company "Mikrohim" is reported to have begun development of drugs against coronavirus. However, the drug in question is meant to be a generic, based on another drug, previously created in Japan and used both in China and Italy.

1 April, 11:25 - According to the latest updates, Ukraine has 669 cases of COVID-19, 120 among which were registered in the last 24 hours. 10 people have recovered, 17 died.

1 April, 10:00 - Boryspil airport received another plane carrying medical aid from China. Among other things, it included 100 000 test systems, 40 000 medical glasses, as well as masks and ventilators.

31 March, 18:00 - Ukraine's healthcare ministry allowed local governments to open food markets. However, the respective decisions will be taken by local authorities.

31 March, 15:44 - Ukrainian School Online project will be launched on 6 April. Lessons for pupils in 5-11 grades will be aired at 11 national TV channels.

31 March, 14:58 - Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada will work in committees until the very end of the quarantine, press service of the Ukrainian parliament says.

31 March, 13:40 - The US has provided Ukraine with health and humanitarian assistance worth USD 1,2 million to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 outbreak. “With the newly announced funding, USAID will help Ukraine strengthen its clinical care to minimize the risk of onward transmission of the virus; prevent and control infections in health-care facilities; prepare laboratory systems for large-scale testing of COVID-19; educate Ukraine's population (through media campaigns) on how it can prevent the spread of the virus; and train rapid-response teams to investigate cases and conduct contact tracing,” the message reads.

31 March, 12:03 - Tomorrow, on 1 April, the humanitarian aid from China, including vital medical supplies, is expected to be delivered to Ukraine, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said. Ukraine and China had agreed to continue partnership in this context.

31 March, 10:30 - 30 Ukrainian citizens are receiving treatment for coronavirus abroad, Ukraine’s foreign ministry reports. Also, according to the data revealed by the ministry, 8 Ukrainians outside the country recovered, while 4 died.

31 March, 9:07 - The number of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine has risen up to 549 in total, with 13 people died and 8 recovered.

30 March, 20:01 - "Coronavirus must not distract the world from Russia’s war in Ukraine," states Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Chairperson of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Committee on integration into the EU, in her column for the Atlantic Council. "Denying Russia’s hostile intentions might seem like the easier option, but as the coronavirus emergency has shown, politically convenient denials do not change reality and have a habit of proving costly." Read more here.

30 March, 19:01 - Checkpoints in Ukrainian cities have been launched to resist the spread of COVID-19. The representatives of national police, national guard forces, state emergency service and medical staff will keep the watch at these checkpoints to monitor the health conditions of people.

30 March, 17:40 - The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reports to have found 79 individuals who were spreading fake news about coronavirus. It also blocked more than 1 000 online-communities that were, reportedly, working for Russia.

30 March, 17:20 - Ukraine's Parliament voted in favor of the so-called “Anti-Kolomoisky” bill which is one of the conditions of the new loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund. This brings Ukraine closer to receiving 10 billion dollars of IMF's assistance, including 4.5 billion dollars to combat the spread of COVID-19 disease. The law aims at protection of the rights of owners and ex-owners of banks, affected by the withdrawal of their financial institutions from the market.

30 March, 16:55 - Maksym Stepanov has been appointed as Ukraine's new Minister of Health. Serhiy Marchenko is the new Minister of Finance.

30 March, 16:40 - Ukraine's PM Denys Shmygal says the EU has allocated a 80 million euro aid package to support the country's health-care system, small and medium enterprises "that are most affected by the crisis".

30 March, 16:20 - Downward foresacts for Ukraine's economic and social development in 2020 by the Cabinet of Ministers predict the unemployment rate to make up 9.4% against the projected 8.1%, and the fall of wages to reach 0.3%, UNIAN reports. "GDP is expected to fall by 3.9% compared to a 3.7% increase projected previously, before the global crisis," according to the Cabinet's press service.

30 March, 15:30 - The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted for ammendments to the legislation that would provide additional social and economic guarantees in view of the spread of coronavirus disease. It inclcudes, inter alia, individual income tax exemptions, partial unemployment benefits, VAT exemption for the turnover of specialized drugs and medicines aimed at combating COVID-19, and automatic continuation of social payments for the quarantine period. The parliament also voted in first reading for a law that establishes criminal liability for the export of medical masks and other anti-epidemic items.

30 March, 14:35 - Ukraine's parliament dismisses The Minister of Health Ilya Yemets and the Minister of Finance Ihor Umansky, who had held their positions for 26 days after the government reshuffle. New ministers have not been appointed yet.

30 March, 14:20 - The head of Zaporizhia Regional Council Hrihoriy Samardak tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus disease. He is currently home under a supervision of doctors. In total, there are 13 cases of coronavirus in Zaporizhia Region.

30 March, 13:16 - Healthcare ministry has identified 240 hospitals and medical centers to be the first ones to take care of persons with confirmed coronavirus diagnosis. As the ministry assures, all these hospitals are equipped with necessary medical facilities.

30 March, 11:52 - Yesterday, a cargo plane delivering more medical supplies from China arrived to Kyiv. 300 respiratory protective masks, 35 thousand protective suits, 1,8 million medical masks and other means of protection have been delivered by the plane.

30 March, 10:41 - 6 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ukraine, which brings the total number of infected persons to 480.

30 March, 9:28 - The government declared that all Ukrainians coming from abroad should obligatory undergo observation, Vladyslav Krykliy, infrastructure minister, said.

29 March, 23:55 - As of 22:00, Ukraine has 475 cases of COVID-19. This is 119 more than as of the same time yesterday.

29 March, 20:00 - Volodymyr Vatras, another MP ("Servant of the People" party) has reportely contracted the virus. This brings the total number of MPs having COVID-19 to six.

29 March, 18:30 - Ukraine's Ministry of Healthcare reports that people aged 31-40 contract the virus the most often. According to the published data, COVID-19 patients from that age group amount to 22%.

29 March, 17:10 - President Zelensky held consultations with representatives of the government, law enforcement agencies and other bodies on the prevention of the virus's further spread. Topics discussed included the readiness of healthcare institutions for the admission of new patients, equipment of observation facilities, as well as shortage of individual protection means.

29 March, 15:55 - Coronavirus has claimed the life of Oleh Mishchenko, former deputy head of the Kyiv regional state administration. This is the first death among Ukrainian pulic figures who have contracted the virus.

29 March, 14:25 - 4 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Kirovohrad oblast, Head of the regional state administration Andriy Balon says. The virus is thus confirmed to have spread to each of Ukraine's 24 oblasts.

29 March, 12:50 - Patients with mild symptoms of COVID-19 will not be hospitalized but supervised on an outpatient basis, Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine, Viktor Liashko said. Only moderate and severe cases will be subject to hospitalization.

29 March, 12:30 - 8 more persons tested positive for coronavirus in Kyiv. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 82 in the capital, Kyiv's mayor Vitaliy Klychko posted on Facebook. 2 patients recovered.

29 March, 12:10 - Ukraine's Prime Minister, Denys Shmygal, says the Cabinet of Ministers completed its preliminary work on changes to the state budget and decided to preserve funding for Ukraine's education, culture, and ifrastructure, despite challenges caused by the spread of coronavirus. The government had previously planned to cut the state budget expenditure for culture by 7 billion hryvnias.

29 March, 11:35 - More than 16 000 citizens of Ukraine returned home on Saturday, twice less than the previous day, according to the State Border Guard Service. This number is above twice less than the previous day. 5 300 foreigners left the country.

29 March, 11:15 - Cases of COVID-19 infectious disease are registered in each region of Ukraine, Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Viktor Liashko announced. Meanwhile, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says Ukrainians who return home from abroad will undergo mandatory observation to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

29 March, 10:40 - 300 thousand respirators, 35 thousand protective clothes, 1.8 million medical masks and other protective gear and equipment arrived to the Boryspil Airport as part of humanitarian aid from China.The deputy head of the President's Office says the cargo will be distributed "to each region of the country". Two more planes with humanitarian assistance are expected to arrive next week.

29 March, 10:20 - The Ministry of Health reports about 418 confirmed cases of coronavirus. 9 patients died, 5 recovered.

29 March, 9:50 - In Monastyryskiy region of Ternopil Oblast, 24 medical workers were reported to be infected with coronavirus. In total, 44 people contracted the virus in this region.

28 March, 22:30 - The Ministry of Health confirms 356 cases of coronavirus in Ukraine. 8 patients died, 5 recovered.

28 March, 18:00 - MP Anna Skorohod (independent) confirmed she had contracted coronavirus. She has thus become the fifth MP with COVID-19.

28 March, 16:15 - A particularly big outbreak of coronavirus has been discovered in Monastyrskyi district of the Ternopil oblast. Out of 36 cases in total, 21 have been diagnosed among medical workers.

28 March, 14:40 - Ihor Kuzin, Head of the Public Health Center at Ukraine's Ministry of Healthcare, says that as many as 22 million Ukrainians may contract COVID-19. "Most probably, this infection is going to circulate annually... Also, its virulence will probably be decreasing," Kuzin said.

28 March, 11:59 - As on 28 March, the death toll because of COVID-19 in Ukraine rises up to 8 persons. At the same time, 5 persons, including 1 child, recovered.

28 March, 10:08 - The US pledges $1,2 million of medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine to fight against coronavirus, Ukraine’s Embassy to the USA reports. The US is expected to start allocating funds as of 3 April.

28 March, 00:02 - Ukraine reports 310 coronavirus cases in total. 92 cases identified in the past day.

27 March, 21:03 - Ukraine announced it would close the border for all crossings by the end of the day of March 27th. This decision provoked panic among thousands of Ukrainian citizens in Poland who rashed to come back to their home country. Crowds of people came on foot to Polish-Ukrainian border and were crossing the border risking their health.

Photo: European Pravda

27 March, 17:45 - About 500,000 - 700,000 people lost their jobs since quarantine, estimates Ukraine's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The new jobless are mostly people working without official work papers, the Chamber says.

27 March, 17:30 - Ukraine will restrict access to government-controlled territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts from Saturday, 28 March. Access to these territories from Kharkivska, Dnipropetrovska and Zaporizka oblasts will be limited. Entry permits will be issued only to those citizens and vehicles that ensure vital logistics for the region.

27 March, 16:30 - Chernivtsi oblast reports that 3 people recovered from coronavirus: one child yesterday and two adults today. Chernivtsi oblast is one of the oblasts that suffers most from coronavirus, with 47 people infected in total.

27 March, 15:50 - Majority of Ukrainians (57%) will not be able to survive unpaid quarantine for more than 4 weeks, reports Liga.net with reference to a survey made by Gradus. 6.9% have money to survive for just a few days, 12.1% for one week, 16,8% for two weeks, 5,7% for three weeks, 15,5% for four weeks. Only 4,3% have funds to survive for more than half a year.

27 March, 15:30 - Ukraine's ombudswoman Lyudmyla Denysova says there are 150 possible cases of pneumonia on the occupied territories in Donbas. People are not tested for coronavirus there, therefore it is impossible to check COVID-19 spread on these lands.

27 March, 14:40 - Economic experts forecast recession in Ukraine because of coronavirus and quarantine. NV.ua asked various economic experts who forecast recession from 1% to 5% of GDP because of coronavirus and the quarantine.

27 March, 14:20 - Head of Kyiv police Andriy Kryshchenko tests positive for coronavirus.

27 March, 13:50 - Two more villages are closed in Chernivtsi Region due to the spread of coronavirus. In total, the entry is restricted to 7 settlements of the south-western region of Ukraine.

27 March, 13:30 - Kyiv is ready tighten its restrictive measures if the situation with COVID-19 gets worse, the city mayor Vitaliy Klychko said. He referred to the example of China "which stopped the spread of the disease thanks to severe limitations".

27 March, 13:00 - Thousands of Ukrainians from Poland rushed to the state border to return home after President Zelensky had announced the closure of borders by the end of today. On 26 March, Ukraine's State Border Guard Service checked-in and checked-out over 27 000 people. More than 18 000 Ukrainian citizens returned to their country in one day.

27 March, 12:40 - 8 more cases of coronavirus confirmed in Kyiv, the city mayor Vitaliy Klychko says. The total number of infected persons is now 55 in the capital.

27 March, 12:20 - Transmission dynamics of Covid-19 in Ukraine "is within the forecasted range", Ukraine's Chief State Sanitary Doctor stated. He added that Ukraine might "review" the quarantine measures to change the mobility of Ukrainians aged from 18 to 50 and, thereby, reduce the number of positive coronavirus cases.

27 March, 11:50 - In Rivne Region, residents of Tynne village, where 9 people were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, are banned from leaving their settlement. The village will be surrounded with police checkpoints and the State Emergency Service till local specialists detect contacts of the infected persons with other residents.

27 March, 11:30 - 94 356 Ukrainians have returned home from abroad with the help of the diplomatic istitutions, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 22 Ukrainian citizens are undergoing treatment in 10 countries, 8 persons recovered.

27 March, 10:40 - 7 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in the occupied Crimea, the so-called "head" of the annexed republic said. All of the infected persons have reportedly travelled to the United Arab Emirates before. The total number of confirmed cases reached 14 in Crimea. RFE/RL had reported about more than 1 000 people hospitalized with pneumonia in the peninsula which can be also connected to SARS.

27 March, 10:05 - Ukraine confirms 218 cases of coronavirus, the Ministry of Health reports. 4 patients recovered, 5 people died from the COVID-19 disease.

27 March, 9:50 - IMF will expand its financial assistance for Ukraine. This decision follows the discussion between the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Krystalina Georgieva, and Ukrainian authorities about a new Extended Financing Program (EFF). To receive the previously agreed 5.5 billion dollars loan and the additional funding, Ukraine has to adopt the so-called "Anti-Kolomoisky Law" and to implement the land reform. Previously, in the phone call with Georgieva, President Zelensky talked about the economic situation in Ukraine with the spread of the coronavirus.

26 March, 22:20 - 40 more cases of COVID-19 registered in Ukraine today; the total number rises up to 196

26 March, 21:47 - EU pledges help to Ukraine to combat coronavirus and overcome its negative social and economic consequences, according to the outcome of the video meeting between Oleh Nemchinov, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, and Peter Wagner, Head of the European Commission’s Support Group for Ukraine, and Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine.

26 March, 19:10 - Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says state border will be closed by the end of the day on 27 March, all passenger services will also be stopped.

26 March, 17:39 - The total number of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine rises up to 162.

26 March, 16:43 - Headquarters on combating coronavirus has been launched in Ukraine, healthcare ministry reports. The headquarters will be headed by Ukraine’s chief sanitary inspector Viktor Liashko.

26 March, 16:11 - Ukraine and Hungary are uniting efforts in fighting against coronavirus as foreign ministers Dmytro Kuleba and Péter Szijjártó agreed to conclude the respective deal during today’s video talks.

26 March, 14:51 - Kyiv has received 9 thousand rapid tests to identify COVID-19, Ukrainian capital’s mayor Vitaliy Klychko said.

26 March, 13:45 - President Zelensky promised to revoke the order to prepare VIP-wards for Ukraine's top officials, Kyiv's mayor Vitali Klitschko states. This follows the investigation by Ukrainian journalists with documents from the Kyiv State Department of Health ordering hospitals to create private rooms with tinted windows and vital equipment, and to designate nurses for Ukrainian politicians and top officials.

26 March, 13:30 - Ukraine's Joint Operation Forces started to test military men for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the frontline of the war-torn Donbas Region. There are no positive cases of coronavirus confirmed in Ukrainian military units.

26 March, 12:55 - UN allocates 33 million dollars to combat coronavirus in eastern Ukraine. This step comes as part of UN's 2 billion dollars global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 announced by the UN Secretary-General on 25 March. The humanitarian assistance is provided to help improve, inter alia, local health care facilities, food security, elderly people and people with disabilities.

26 March, 12:40 - 40 cases of coronavirus infectious disease confirmed in Kyiv, the city mayor Vitali Klitschko says. As of today,1 437 persons have been tested with rapid response and laboratory tests in Ukraine's capital.

26 March, 11:50 - 82 804 Ukrainian citizens have returned home since the quarantine started, Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports. While people are screened for coronavirus and are asked to self-isolate upon arrival, the mayor of Kyiv had earlier called for stricter measures for those coming from abroad to observe a 14-days quarantine.

26 March, 11:05 - All cross-border air and train travels will be suspended in Ukraine from 28 March. Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov said Ukrainians would be able to cross the border by car or on foot.

26 March, 10:40 - Ukraine's Minister of Health, Illya Yemets, says Ukraine's healthcare system is not ready for the pandemic. He insisted on launching "a united coronavirus operational headquarters in the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, in conjunction with other services" which "can still reduce the number of casualties".

26 March, 10:20 - The total number of positive cases rises to 156 in Ukraine, the Health Ministry reports. 1 patient recovered, death toll stands at 5.

26 March, 9:50 - The investigative media Bihus.Info claims Kyiv hospitals have been ordered to set up VIP wards for "special patients" who might contract coronavirus. According to their sources, the Kyiv City State Department of Health sent an order to 17 medical institutions to arrange private rooms with tinted windows, prepare vital equipment and nurses for top-ranking officials of the country.

26 March, 9:30 - Ukraine reports 145 cases of the coronavirus disease in total. 32 new cases were registered in the previous day.

25 March, 18:45 - People in Kyiv adjust to the new reality – the streets of the city are empty due to COVID-19 quarantine.

Сitizens Of Kyiv Stay Home

❗ Kyiv reports 3 more cases of coronavirus infection. The total number of infected in Ukraine’s capital reached 34. Meanwhile, the streets of the city are empty 👇 Follow our live updates here ➡ http://bit.ly/UAvsCOVID19

Опубліковано UkraineWorld Середа, 25 березня 2020 р.


25 March, 16:30 - Kyiv reports 3 more cases of coronavirus infection. The total number of infected in Kyiv reached 34. Kyiv city mayor Vitaliy Klitschko says this is a "worrying statistics"

25 March, 14:30 - Despite the quarantine, a solitary protest "Spring On Granite" continues near the presidential office. Yaryna Chornohuz, the leader of the protest, says the action is directed against treating Russia as "observer" in the Donbas war. "Russia is aggressor, not observer", she says. Watch our video about the protest.

Spring On Granite Protest

Amidst coronavirus quarantine, Весна_на_граніті solitary protest is taking place in Kyiv. Find out more about it in our video 👇

Опубліковано UkraineWorld Вівторок, 24 березня 2020 р.



25 March, 14:18 - Ukraine's government stresses that "emergency situation" it announced does not equal to the state of emergency. The state of emergency would limit constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, while the emergency situation does not impose such limitations.

25 March, 12:54 - Quarantine in Ukraine has been prolonged for another 30 days, till 24 April.

25 March, 12:54 - Emergency situation regime will be introduced in Zaporizhzhia amid confirmation of 4 COVID-19 cases. All those infected have recently returned to Ukraine from Egypt and Courchevel.

25 March, 12:01 - Defense ministry calls on interns and volunteers experienced in medical sphere to join efforts to combat COVID-19 spread.

25 March, 10:51 - Fourth death caused by coronavirus is reported in Ukraine.

25 March, 9:10 - The number of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine has increased up to 113.

24 March, 21:27 - Due to diplomatic efforts, 78,592 Ukrainians citizens have been brought home from abroad. At the same time, 18 Ukrainians are undergoing medical treatment abroad, while 152 Ukrainians outside the country are in quarantine.

24 March, 20:05 - Kyiv boosts restrictive measures amid COVID-19 spread. As of today, people willing to visit administrative buildings, manufacturing areas and/or use public transport are obliged to wear face masks, Kyiv City State Administration’s press service informs.

24 March, 18:58 - Online poll conducted by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology shows that 40% of Ukrainians want stricter quarantine measures. At the same time, 33,4% of those polled are satisfied with current measures, while 22% of Ukrainians advocate for relaxing the existing restrictions, the figures say.

24 March, 17:46 - Boryspil airport will remain Ukraine’s only operating airport amid all-national quarantine, infrastructure minister Vladyslav Krykliy said. As of 12:00 today, passengers are barred from air travels for tourism purposes.

24 March, 16:33 - 7 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in illegally occupied Crimea, so-called “head of Crimea” Sergey Aksionov said.

24 March, 15:56 - According to the recent updates, 97 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Ukraine in total, Viktor Liashko, deputy healthcare minister, said.

24 March, 14:29 - International financial institutions are expected to mobilize up to USD 550 million to help Ukraine in its fight against coronavirus. According to the ministry for communities and territories development, European Investment Bank may provide Ukraine with EUR 40 million in loans to boost measures aimed at combating COVID-19. Moreover, Ukraine may count on another loan worth USD 500 million from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development with the view of underpinning the state budget and fighting against coronavirus outbreak.

24 March, 13:35 - Kyiv's mayor, Vitali Klitschko, asks the Ministry of Internal Affairs "to strengthen control over compliance with restrictive measures" in the city. He says police has to "strictly" inform Ukrainians, who come to the capital from abroad, about the obligation to self-isolate for 14 days and the responsibility for breaking the rule.

24 March, 12:35 - Ukraine's Postal Service UkrPoshta will launch free delivery of humanitarian assistance to hospitals amid the spread of the infectous disease. The Cabinet of Ministers also allowed UkrPoshta to deliver medicines to the most vulnerable to coronavirus and those in the remote places of the country.

24 March, 12:35 - 13 more cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been confirmed in Chernivtsi Region where the first case had been reported in Ukraine. The official number has grown to 38 infected persons in the region.

24 March, 12:15 - Kyiv customs officers are suspected of possible involvement in the illegal export of medical masks to Spain. The prosecutor's office of Kiev has opened criminal proceedings due to the possible offence during the registration of the export.

24 March, 11:50 - Police might start control self-isolation of Ukrainians who return from foreign countries. The deputy minister of Internal Affairs, Anton Herashchenko, suggested this to prevent Ukrainians from breaking the rules of a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon their arrival. He said Ukraine might follow South Korea, Israel and Poland by asking mobile operators to monitor those who signed an obligation to observe the quarantine.

24 March, 11:00 - Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal says "there is no need to introduce the state of emergency in Ukraine". It is enough to declare an emergency situation in those regions, where cases of COVID-19 confirmed, he added. As for today, 10 Ukrainian regions have declared an emergency.

24 March, 10:20 - Ukraine's Ministry of Health reports 84 cases of COVID-19 infectious disease.

24 March, 10:00 - The Armed Forces of Ukraine has requested international assistance from NATO's Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in its military units. The EADRCC asked international partners to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine's Ministry of Defence.

24 March, 9:50 - 70 305 Ukrainians have returned home from abroad since the start of the quarantine in Ukraine. 151 persons are in quarantine in different countries, 21 Ukrainians are undergoing treatment abroad, - MFA reports.

23 March, 18:35 - Yulia Kovaliv, deputy head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, stressed that the best-case scenario for Ukraine's economy in 2020 is that it would shrink by 5%. She also noted that Ukraine's expenses to counter the coronavirus outbreak would amount to $3,5-4 billion.

23 March, 17:28 - Vladyslav Kryklii, Ukraine's infrastructure minister, announced that all the passengers willing to fly from Ukraine with tourism purposes will not be able to do so after 24 March, 12:00. Additionaly, all the airports apart from Boryspil airport will be closed.

23 March, 17:18 - Emergency situation regime was introduced in Donetsk, Ternopil and Cherkasy regions, Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.

23 March, 15:17 - 18 Ukrainians are being treated from COVID-19 abroad, Ukraine's foreign ministry informs. More than 70 thousand Ukrainians have already returned from abroad with support from Ukraine's diplomatic institutions.

23 March, 14:25 - Yarema Dukh, the press secretary of Holos party, says that the majority of fractions in the Verkhovna Rada are against the introduction of the nationwide state of emergency due to coronavirus outbreak.

23 March, 13:12 - Kyiv city mayor Vitaliy Klychko informs about 14 new cases of coronavirus in the capital, thus bringing the total number of cases confirmed in Kyiv to 24.

23 March, 11:47 - Ukraine’s healthcare minister Illia Yemets says the country is entering second phase of combating coronavirus. The phase includes not only preventive measures but also treatment.

23 March, 10:18 - Illia Yemets, Ukraine’s healthcare minister, advocates for the introduction of state of emergency in Ukraine. “I've been speaking about this since the first day of my work in government. This should have been done from the very beginning”, he stressed in his video address.

23 March, 9:24 - 250 thousand rapid tests to identify coronavirus have arrived to Ukraine from China, Office of Ukraine’s President reports on Facebook. Ukraine’s interior minister Arsen Avakov vows the sufficient numbers of these tests will be in all Ukrainian oblasts by the end of this day.

22 March, 23:27 - Ukraine reports 26 more cases of coronavirus infection; this leads the number of total confirmed cases to 73, says Ukraine's Health Ministry.

22 March, 18:47 - Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov urged the heads of regional state administrations "to deal with food markets which pose significant threats in terms of coronavirus spread."

22 March, 18:21 - ambulance brigades will be doing express tests for coronavirus and flu when they will be visiting patients with COVID-19 symptoms in order to diagnose the coronavirus disease or its absence.

22 March, 16:00 - REMINDER: From March 23rd public transport in Kyiv will only be accessible to workers of "critical services", i.e. medicine, law enforcement, utilities, food stores, pharmacies, strategic enterprises. Policemen will check relevant papers in the public transportation. Individual car transport or taxi services will not be restricted. Police and military will patrol the streets. The number of customers in food stores or pharmacites is restricted to 1 person per 10m2 from March 25th.

22 March, 14:46 - 8 more people were cured from coronavirus in Ukraine. All of them are from Chernivtsi region.

22 March, 12:20 - What does quarantine in Ukraine mean for foreigners? Read our brief analysis here

22 March, 12:10 - State of emergency can be introduced by Verkhovna Rada (UKraine's parliament) on its Tuesday sitting on 24 March, reports RBC-Ukraine. As of 10am 22 March, 49 cases of coronavirus were registered in Ukraine. 3 people died, 1 person recovered.

21 March, 21:40 - 47 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 10 regions of Ukraine so far.

21 March, 20:30 - In Kyiv, the number of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 has grown to 10. The city has banned playgrounds and sports grounds in parks, squares and adjoining territories to prevent the spread of the infectious disease.

21 March, 17:02 - Emergency situation regime will be introduced in Kharkiv region, Oleksiy Kucher, Head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, said.

21 March, 15:29 - Kyiv city mayor Vitalii Klitshchko says all public transport in Ukrainian capital suspends its work for the majority of population as of 23 March. Only people working for emergency services, pharmacies, housing&utilities sector, food stores will be allowed to use public transport, Klitshchko added.

21 March, 13:44 - As of 22 March, all passenger transportation in Kyiv will be stopped, Ukraine’s interior minister Arsen Avakov said. However, such a rigid restriction does not touch emergency services, he added.

21 March, 12:30 - Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says Ukraine will take more stringent restrictive measures against the spread of the coronavirus in the coming days. He insists on "total quarantine".

21 March, 12:00 - 9 more persons are suspected of COVID-19 infectious disease in Lviv Region. Currently, there are 42 patients under observation in Infectious Diseases Communal Clinical Hospital. 9 people are self-isolating.

21 March, 11:20 - The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has grown to 41 in Ukraine. 3 Ukrainians have died from the infectious disease, 1 patient recovered.

21 March, 10:30 - In Kyiv, 16 hospitals have purchased tests for coronavirus. Only 7 of them check people, Slidstvo.info reports.

20 March, 18:50 - The first case of COVID-19 has been registered in Lviv. This brings the total number of cases identified in Ukraine to 27.

20 March, 18:08 - Dmytro Razumkov, the speaker of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, says Ukraine's parliament won't be closed for quarantine.

20 March, 17:23 - More than 28 thousand Ukrainians have already returned from abroad with assistance from Ukraine's diplomatic institutions, Ukraine's foreign ministry reports. However, many more remain stranded due to closed borders in Europe.

20 March, 16:41 - Ukraine's healthcare ministry stroke a deal with Uber according to which the company will deliver medical workers to their workplaces and back home for free. This option will be available in all cities where Uber operates, namely Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya and Vinnytsia.

20 March, 16:15 - Ukraine's healthcare ministry threatened laboratories to take away their licenses if they did not report cases of COVID-19 tests.

20 March, 15:13 - At least 1500 people in Chernivtsi region were asked to isolate themselves because they recently returned from the countries with registered COVID-19 cases.

20 March, 14:41 - Dnipropetrovsk region imposed the emergency situation regime due to coronavirus outbreak.

20 March, 13:44 - As there are 15 pe

20 March, 10:10 - Ukrainian National Guard forces are engaged into fight against coronavirus spread in the country, National Guard press service reports. Among the tasks assigned, the forces raise people’s awareness about the current developments, control transport operators not allowing them to breach quarantine restrictions.

20 March, 8:59 - 5 new cases of coronavirus were identified in Chernivtsi, Ukraine’s healthcare ministry says. This brings the total number of cases identified in Ukraine to 26.

19 March, 21:00 - Diagnosis to the 3rd victim of coronavirus was posthumous: the woman addressed the hospital too late, says Ukraine's health ministry. Her husband recently returned from a trip abroad, but is not ill with coronavirus.

19 March, 20:45 - Ukraine reports 3rd death from coronavirus. A woman died from COVID-19 in Ivano-Frankivsk.

19 March, 20:15 - Ukraine reports 21 cases of coronavirus infection in total.

19 March, 15:53 - A case of coronavirus is identified in Zhytomyr. The virus was found in 56-year-old dweller of Zhytomyr who recently came back from Austria. Earlier a woman died of coronavirus in Zhytomyr oblast. The number of infected people in Ukraine reached 17.

19 March, 15:10 - "We stay here for you, please stay home for us": Ukrainian doctors addressed citizens with a call to stay home during the quarantine

19 March, 14:30* - Ukrainian railway prolongs the period of ticket refund to 90 days for intra-Ukrainian travel, and 180 days for international travel, because of Coronavirus. Ukraine suspended** international railway travel on 17 March, and internal railway travel on 18 March.

19 March, 14:01 - Ukraine will soon receive 1 million of accurate tests on Coronavirus, says Ukraine's chief sanitary doctor Viktor Liashko. He adds that these tests are already available in 11 Ukrainian laboratories. They are more precise than "fast tests". He also added that soon Ukraine will have fast tests too, which will help doctors take quick decisions.

19 March, 13:01 - Pro-Russian militants of the so-called "DPR" have decided to close all the checkpoints on the contact line on midnight, 21 March, «to prevent coronavirus from getting into the republic». As reported earlier, in the «republics» no one tests people for coronavirus, 51 suspected cases of pneumonia in the "DPR" and 40 suspected cases in the "LPR" were recorded from 9 to 16 March.

19 March, 10:23 - Meanwhile, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate urges believers to ignore the quarantine measures. «Epidemic is nothing to be afraid of, but a sin which kills a soul is,» metropolitan archbishop Pavel argued. He urged «everyone young and old to hurry to the church and hug one another».

19 March, 10:13 - The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ukraine has grown to 16. 2 new cases have been registered—one in Donetsk region, another one in Kyiv region. The online tracker shows 199 suspected cases around the country.

18 March, 18:20 - Ukrainians who breach the restrictive measures imposed during the quarantine will face fine from 17 000 up to 51 000 hryvnias, arest up to six months, or up to 3 years of prison. Actions that lead to grave consequences or fatalities will be punished with 5 to 8 years in prison, according to the National Police of Ukraine.

18 March, 17:20 - The so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republic's totally ignore quarantine and conduct public events, - Eastern Human Rights Group reports. According to the monitors, educational institutions have held a range of events, including those dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the victory of the USSR. In the occupied territory, bars and restaurants are open. Despite no one tests people for coronavirus, 51 suspected cases of pneumonia in the "DPR" and 40 suspected cases in the "LPR" were recorded from 9 to 16 March.

18 March, 16:42 - Ukrainian Armed Forces suspend the spring call-up due to the quarantine measures in the country until April 3.

18 March, 15:10 - President Volodymyr Zelensky has dismissed head of the Ternopil Regional State Administration, Ihor Sopel, who did not prevent protests against evacuees from China.

18 March, 14:57 - Ukrainian MPs who have come into contact with the infected lawmaker Serhiy Shakhov will be tested for coronavirus.

18 March, 14:20 - In Kyiv, drivers of the public transport will be deprived bonuses and even fired for taking more than 10 passangers simultaneously. Kyiv police warns that if caught, drivers of the public transport might be fined up to 32 000 hryvnias (~1 170 dollars) for breaching the new rule.

18 March, 13:40 - Ukrainian lawmaker Serhiy Shakhov tested positive for the coronavirus. Press service of the Verkhovna Rada reports he was absent at the meeting of the conciliation council of MPs, as well as at the parliament's the extra plenary session that took place on 16 and 17 March accordingly. The infected politician is self-isolating.

18 March, 12:54 - In Lviv, 24 people have been sent to hospital with suspected COVID-19, Lviv City Council reports. All the persons hospitalized came back to Ukraine from abroad recently.

18 March, 12:16 - According to the information revealed by Ukraine’s foreign ministry, 12 Ukrainians are undergoing medical treatment to combat COVID-19 abroad: 5 in Germany, 2 in Italy, 2 in Poland, as well as 1 in Moldova, 1 in UAE and 1 in Dominican Republic. 744 Ukrainians abroad are in quarantine.

18 March, 10:53 - As of today, all public transport in Chernivtsi, the city where the first COVID-19 positive patient has been registered, suspends its work, Chernivtsi city mayor Oleksiy Kaspruk said.

18 March, 09:12 - Several restrictions in Ukrainian Armed Forces will be imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19, General Staff’s press service reports. Meetings, business trips will be limited or prohibited, while work at home will be allowed.

17 March, 20:30 - 7 new cases of coronavirus confirmed in Ukraine, the Ministry of Health reports. As for today, Ukraine registered 14 cases of COVID-19: 10 in Chernivtsi oblast, one in Zhytomyr oblast, one in Kyiv oblast and 2 in the city of Kyiv.

17 March, 16:30 - Only people with masks will be allowed to enter public transport in Kyiv from 18 March. The number of passangers should not exceed 10 persons in a bus, a trolleybus or a tram.

17 March, 15:02 - Ukraine's healthcare ministry does not rule out the prolongation of quarantine measures beyond 3 April, deputy healthcare minister Viktor Liashko said. The respective decision will be made at the end of the current quarantine period taking into consideration the epidemic situation in Ukraine and the neighbouring countries.

17 March, 11:57 - 42 Ukrainians are currently being checked for COVID-19, Ukraine's healthcare ministry reports.

17 March, 10:29 - Ukraine's State Border Service limited access to annexed Crimea until 3 April. Only those Ukrainians registered in Crimea will be able to move back and forth. People who are «important for Ukraine's national interests» and employees of diplomatic institutions and humanitarian missions will also be allowed to move back to mainland Ukraine.

17 March, 10:12 - Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada adopted a law №3219 «On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed to prevent the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)». Here are the main points of the law:

  1. Administrative fines on individuals who violate quarantine and criminal responsibility for those who spread the coronavirus on purpose.
  2. Duties and VAT on medicaments aimed at combating COVID-19 cancelled.
  3. Cabinet of Ministers controls prices on medicaments and «socially important goods».
  4. Ukrainians can officially work on remote.
  5. 200% salary bonus for medical workers who treat patients with COVID-19.

17 March, 08:30 - The government ordered to shut down subways, as well as bus, rail and air transportation between cities and regions amid the coronavirus spread in Ukraine. City buses, trams and trolleybuses are allowed to carry no more than 10 passangers simultaneously.

16 March, 23:50 - Ukraine expects to receive 1 mln rapid response tests from China on Saturday, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced. He also said the state of emergency will be introduced "if necessary".Today, 15 Ukrainian regions have tests for coronavirus, according to the the Ministry of Health.

16 March, 22:00 - First 2 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Kyiv. An infected man returned from France during the incubation period, the Ministry of Health reports.

16 March, 18:16 - President Zelensky also authorized Ukraine's finance ministry to negotiate with the IMF and other international partners to seek financial assistance to tackle the economic crisis caused by coronavirus.

16 March, 17:39 - BREAKING: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the Ukrainian government to close the railway, bus and airplane connection between the Ukrainian cities, as well as shut down metro in the Ukrainian cities to limit the spread of coronavirus. It is highly likely that the government will support this suggestion.

16 March, 16:08 - local elections in Ukraine will take place on 25 October 2020. Ukrayinska Pravda studied how SARS-CoV-2 virus might influence these elections:

  1. Servant of the People rating might sink.
  2. Political consultants might use people's fear of the virus in pre-election campaigns.
  3. These elections might be the most digitalised ones in Ukraine ever including agitation via SMS and social networks
  4. After all, the local elections might be postponed.

16 March, 15:03 - due to the quarantine introduced on 12 March, the air quality in Kyiv improved significantly. If compared to the end of January, the level of air pollution decreased by 3-4 times.

16 March, 14:33 - Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky created a coordination group aimed at combating the spread of coronavirus in Ukraine. This group will advise the President on all matters related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The group consists of Ukraine's healthcare minister Ilya Yemets, deputy healthcare minister Viktor Liashko, interior minister Arsen Avakov, NSDC secretary Oleksiy Danilov, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba and many others. The full list is here.

16 March, 14:00 - Illegal smuggling of medical masks has beaten the scheme with cigarette export, says head of the State Customs Service Maxym Nefyodov. He says Ukraine prevented around 130 000 masks to be smuggled from the country in just a weekend.

16 March, 13:50 - Ukraine will shut down Verkhovna Rada till 3 April. The parliament will suspend its work after tomorrow's morning sessiion where it plans to take urgent legal measures to combat the spread of coronavirus in the country.

16 March, 13:20 - More Ukrainian cities such as Ivano-Frankivsk, Zaporizhia, Uzhhorod and Mykolaiv enforce quarantine measures by closing all food service establishments. Pharmavies, shops and gas stations will be open. Lviv, Kyiv and Odesa have announced similar restrictive measures earlier today.

16 March, 13:00 - The Chernivtsi resident, who was the first COVID-19 patient in Ukraine, was tested negative for coronavirus. The patient will be tested again in 2 days. If the next test will prove to be negative, the officials say, he will be considered recovered.

16 March, 12:45 - Police drew up an administrative report on a man from Chernivtsi Region who had spread false rumors about the number of infected and killed by COVID-19 in Ukraine. Previously, a woman had been fined for spreading fake news about the new virus.

16 March, 11:45 - Kyiv orders all bars, restaurants, clubs and shopping malls to be closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, - mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko announced. Sports complexes and other public service establishments will be temporarily suspended as well. Public travels between the city of Kyiv and other settlements of Ukraine will be restricted. ATMS, banks and gas stations will be open.

16 March, 11:20 - Ukrzaliznytsia [Ukrainian Railways -ed.] will refund the full cost of tickets for cancelled international travels. Passangers can get a refund in the railway ticket office or online.

16 March, 10:55 - Ukraine suspends the issuance of all entry visas due to quarantine measures introduced by the government. Directorate General for Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is closed to applicants from 14 March.

16 March, 10:40 - More than 50 foreign citizens have been denied entry to Ukraine since midnight when the restriction on entering the country took effect in Ukraine.

16 March, 10:00 - 2 more cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Ukraine, the Ministry of Health reports. The infected persons are women in Chernivtsi Region where the first person was tested positive on 3 March. As for today, Ukraine registered 5 cases of COVID-19.

16 March, 09:50 - The Ukrainian-born actress and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko was tested positive for the coronavirus. The Hollywood star revealed that she was locked at home to her fans on Instagram saying she "had been ill for almost a week".

16 March, 09:30 - 123 Ukrainians, who could not return from Italy,arrived to Boryspil Airport. They were evacuated after the borders had been closed due to the quarantine. All passangers were checked for coronavirus symptoms prior to boarding.

16 March, 09:00 - In Lviv and Odesa, all food service establishments and venues that might gather more than 10 people are closed from today. Grocery stores and pharmacies will be open.

15 March, 17:00 - As of March 15th, Ukraine has 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection; 12 cases are being checked.

15 March, 15:00 - Ukraine's health minister Illia Yemets suggests closing restaurants and cafes, saying Ukraine should "act proactively" and ahead of the challenge. This is, however, only an opinion of the minister, no decision is yet taken.

15 March, 12:10 - Coronavirus and global financial crisis hits Ukrainian economy. Ukraine's currency hryvnia (UAH) lost 5% in 5 days: it fell from 24.92 UAH for 1 USD to 26.09 UAH for 1 USD between 10 and 15 March.

15 March, 12:00 - Ukraine to cut all railway travel with other countries from March 17th. Restriction will apply until the end of quarantine period in Ukraine (April 3rd). Railway travel with Slovakia was stopped on March 13th, with Poland on March 15th

15 March, 10:30 - Many Ukrainian public administration bodies, companies, NGOs are turning to "work from home" model.

14 March, 12:00 - Ukraine launched an online service that helps track the spread of coronavirus around the country. Confirmed cases of infection are marked red, while suspicions of the coronavirus are pointed with orange on the map. Green marks medical institutions that are ready to take the infected persons.

13 March, 22:40 - Ukraine will shut down its borders for foreigners from 16 March. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said foreigners without temporary or permanent residency status "will not be able to enter by plane, nor by car, nor by train". He urged Ukrainian tourists to return home prior to 17 March.

13 March, 21:06 - Ukraine will fully restrict air travel from March 17th, said Dmytro Razumkov, head of Ukrainian parliament.

13 March, 16:06 - Cases of coronavirus are registered in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions,- Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov reported at the briefing in Kyiv. He says the spread of the virus started from an infected woman who сame to Horlivka (Donetsk Region) through Moscow from China. The official did not mention the exact number of cases.

13 March, 15:36 - The first death from coronavirus was confirmed in Ukraine, - Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Health, Viktor Liashko reports at the briefing. A woman from Radomyshl (Zhytomyr Region), aged 71, who was tested positive for coronavirus, died from pneumonia. She had previously travelled to Poland.

13 March, 15:20 - Ukraine will close entry for foreign citizens in 48 hours to prevent the spread of COVID-19,- National Security and Defense Council announced at the briefing. The restriction will be in place for two weeks. Ukrainians abroad will be allowed to return home. Oleksiy Danilov from NSDC says there are no reasons for panic in the country, all the checkpoints at the border will be provided with tests and everything necessary to diagnose the new coronavirus and protect medical workers.

13 March, 14:00 - A city of Radomyshl (Zhytomyr Region)declared a state of emergency to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Public transport is suspended and markets are closed after an infected woman had not reported her symptoms for more than a week,- Kyiv Post reports.

13 March, 11:01 - Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council (NSDC) is set to meet at 12:30 Kyiv time to discuss all possible measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in the country, as confirmed by President's office. Sources of Ukrayinska Pravda say that the closure of borders might be discussed among other measures.

12 March, 19:30 - The Ministry of Health has reported about two new cases of COVID-19 in Ukraine. An elderly woman from Zhytomyr Oblast and a man from Chernivtsi Oblast whose wife has been in Italy for the last 14 days are infected with the virus. The country now has three confirmed cases, still one of the lowest numbers in Europe.

12 March, 16:00 - The number of people infected with COVID-19 stays unchanged in Ukraine: only one person officially declared infected as of now.

12 March, 14:00 - In Kyiv, 3-week quarantine is applied: kindergartens, theatres, cinemas, museums, entertainment centres and entertainment zones in the shopping malls should suspend their work.

12 March, 13:00 - Ukraine restricts the number of border crossing points to 49 out of 219. 170 crossing points are closed on 12 March. It also suspends aviation connections with Italy.

11 March, 13:50 - Ukraine enforced quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All educational institutions, including nurseries, schools and universities, are closed. Mass gatherings and public events with more than 200 persons should be cancelled. The restrictions will be in place till 3 April.

3 March - The first case of coronavirus in Ukraine was confirmed in Chernivtsi. A Ukrainian man who came from Italy by car, was tested positive several days after the first symptoms appeared.

The Chernivtsi case

Several days after crossing the border from Romania, the infected man experienced fever and a sore throat. After calling the emergency services, he was placed in the infection department of Chernivtsi Region. His wife, who was also tested for COVID-19, remained at home.

As soon as the news went public, a group of 20 people standing in front of her house demanded her isolation. The woman has until now not shown any symptoms of the disease. Her husband, who tested positive for coronavirus, was said to be "in a stable condition" with "a minor cough", according to Valentina Mindrescu, the head of the infections department of the Chernivtsi regional hospital.

Although there were no cause for panic, 40% of children did not show up in kindergartens, of whom only 8% due to being ill. However, as the Head of the city department of education, Serhiy Martyniuk, said in comments, 15% of school students stayed home mostly because of SARS which is still above the epidemic threshold in some Ukrainian regions. Some public events in the city were also cancelled. Later, a senior local official said schools, colleges and universities in the Chernivtsi region will be closed from March 6 for 14 days to prevernt the disease from spreading.

In many cities, such as Bakhmut, Chernivtsi, Kyiv, Lviv and Vinnytsia, public transport vehicles go through disinfection after completing their route.

Those crossing the border from Moldova, Romania and Poland are also checked for the body temperature at checkpoints in Chernivtsi, Lviv and Volyn Regions.

Ukraine's actions against COVID-2019

After the case in Novi Sanzhary, the government had to take immediate measures to prevent panic. After Ukraine's Deputy Minister of Health, Viktor Liashko, was appointed chief sanitary doctor on 26 February, he reassured that Ukraine is ready to receive and treat patients with COVID-19. He is also carrying out checks in hospitals across the country for their readiness to receive possible patients with coronavirus. In his words, most of those hospitals, that were "chosen randomly" as well as their medical workers, are prepared. Today, Ukrainian officials informed they have about 12,000 beds in hospitals handling infections, 2,000 doctors handling infectious diseases and 5,000 healthcare workers that are ready to treat patients.

All Ukrainian regions are holding training for doctors, epidemiologists, rescuers, police and local authorities. Together with WHO, the Center for Public Health taught healthcare workers how to react and what to do in case COVID-19 is registered elsewhere. As of 4 March, 70 doctors across the country have completed the training, Hromadske reported.

Following the reported case in Chernivtsi, the Ukrainian Health Ministry signed the concept of emergency medical service development. According to officials, Emergency Centers will receive more funds through contracting with the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHS). For example, Kyiv's Emergency Centre will now receive 15 million hryvnias (541 516 EUR) more.

Andriy Skipalsky, Director General of the Public Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, assured that Ukraine had a well-developed monitoring system for influenza viruses, effective today in the situation with COVID-19. This involves the Centre of Public Health, which has provided "relevant and real-time data on the flu" as well. According to Skipalsky, Ukraine "integrated the international European system" and adopted relevant documents to prevent spread of the new coronavirus.

As of 5 March, another 10 people were isolated and tested on suspicion of having COVID-19. WIth new suspicions popping up, the Deputy Minister of Health announced that Ukraine "will have to introduce restrictive anti-epidemic measures" soon.

"We will ban the holding of mass events, conferences, sports events. We will temporarily close schools, there will be a gap in educational processes in order to reduce mass clusters of people, because we all know that the virus is transmitted by airborne droplets and we need to be at least 1.5-2 meters away from a person in order not to get infected," Viktor Liashko said on Thursday.

Nonetheless, as Kateryna Bulavinova, an infectionist and a UNICEF Health Expert, stressed on Thursday, "currently, more people are dying from seasonal flu in Ukraine", though "no one pays attention to it". Ukraine's Ministry of Health, reported 54 deaths deaths caused by influenza so far.

At the same time, on 5 March, the 2-week "observation" period of evacuees from China's Wuhan ended in Poltava Region.45 Ukrainians and 27 foreigners were proven not to be contaminated with the virus. Together with the plane crew, the escort team, as well as the now-former Health Minister Zoryana Skaletska, they left home after meeting Ukrainian President Zelensky on the occasion of this day.

Among concerns over the spread of COVID-19, the reshuffle of the Ukrainian government made a well-known surgeon in Ukraine, Illya Yemets, the new Minister of Health. Ukrainian President Zelensky said the first briefing of the new Minister of Health would be devoted to the topic of coronavirus, though "the situation is under control".

As the BBC Ukrainian Service reports, some parliamentarians expressed doubts that Yemets would be able to change the healthcare system in Ukraine, although they praised his professional skills as a surgeon.

How to stay safe

Whether it is coronavirus or not, doctors can only cure the symptoms, as with any other viral disease, the chief sanitary doctor said in comments to LB.ua.

On the other hand, Liashko asked people not to buy up face masks on a massive scale. He warned that a run on the masks might lead to a shortage of surgical masks when really needed. Concerns over misuse had been earlier expressed by international medical specialists and the WHO, since masks are not effective in preventing people from catching coronavirus.

Despite symptoms of coronavirus not being identified in an incubatory period, Ukrainian airports and border checkpoints still measure the temperature of incomers.

Instead, the Ministry of Health is calling on persons who experience any symptoms of respiratory disease after or while travelling to contact a family doctor and to report their history of travel. The official recommendations are in line with those of WHO and UNICEF.

To prevent infection and protect others:

  • wash hands or disinfect them frequently for not less than 20 seconds,
  • when coughing, cover your mouth with a flexed elbow or a tissue, then throw it into a closed bin,
  • avoid close contact with everyone who has symptoms such as cough, difficulties  breathing or increased body temperature,
  • do not consume raw or undercooked meat and practice food safety,
  • seek medical care in case of any flu-like symptoms.

The Ukrainian government has also created a special website to inform the public about coronavirus so as to help prevent the infection spreading. The information campaign to avert manipulation and panic was supported by many NGOs and media outlets via dissemination of official recommendations on how to protect oneself from the virus.

As of 5 March 2020, the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 came to 95,416 cases, with 3,285 deaths and 53,278 persons who've recovered. Following Ukraine, the first case was registered in neighboring Poland and 2 others in Hungary on 4 March.

IRYNA MATVIYISHYN
Analyst and journalist at UkraineWorld and Internews Ukraine

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