During a working trip to the Odesa region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities discussing in detail the issue of combating the spread of COVID-19.
"Today we are witnessing another powerful wave of COVID-19, the "Delta" wave and the emergence of new strains. Every day there are anti-records around the world, and we are no exception. Every day in Ukraine there are anti-records of both the sick and, unfortunately, the dead," the President said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that the losses from the pandemic per day are already approaching the daily losses of the military during the Second World War. Therefore, officials, businesses and citizens should take steps to increase the number of vaccinated.
"We understand that the only way out is vaccination. We need to increase the percentage of people vaccinated to get out of this collapse. Leaders on the ground, I beg you to fall asleep and wake up with this topic," the Head of State urged.
The President reminded that at the last meeting of the National Security and Defense Council the task was set to increase the number of vaccinations to 300,000 per day. And today in Ukraine about 290 thousand vaccinations are already made, but it is necessary to increase the rate of vaccination even more actively, because the number of patients and deaths is increasing.
In this context, Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the media, including the central media, which joined the campaign to inform people about the importance and safety of vaccination.
"I beg you all to exclude social networks in this issue and turn on the brain. It is necessary to be vaccinated - today it is not a "horror story", it is the only solution. I want us not to be afraid of these "horror stories" in the media and social networks, but to be afraid of this virus," the President said, adding that today in the civilized world, a person's attitude to vaccination is almost an indicator of literacy and awareness.
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak noted that every official should warn citizens about the danger of COVID-19 on a daily basis and demonstrate the importance of vaccination by his own example.
According to him, today there are enough vaccines against COVID-19 in Ukraine and a significant number of vaccination points have been opened.
"The government, the President's team, and all government agencies have done everything possible to organize this process, but there are still questions in some cities," Andriy Yermak said.
He also said that in order to fulfill the task of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Office of the President will more often visit the regions of Ukraine, monitor and assist in resolving problematic issues on the ground.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who took part in the work of the Congress via video call, spoke about the supply of oxygen to medical institutions where patients with COVID-19 are treated.
"There is enough oxygen. Enough oxygen stations have been established that generate oxygen on the ground. Where there is a need to deliver (oxygen - ed.), the Ministry of Health strictly adheres to the logistics of supplies. I am convinced that we can talk about providing hospitals with oxygen wherever it is needed," the head of government stressed.
According to Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko, currently 16 regions of Ukraine have moved to the "red" level of epidemic danger. The healthcare system has 70,000 beds for COVID-19 patients, more than 48,000 of which are occupied, he said.
Viktor Lyashko also reminded that oxygen consumption by the infected had increased five to six times.
"Today, 80% of hospitalized patients are oxygen dependent. Oxygen consumption has increased many times. In October, the two plants stopped for maintenance check to reboot and continue operating at a higher capacity. One plant has already resumed operations on Friday, another one will do so on Monday," the Minister said.
According to forecasts, the plateau of morbidity is expected in a week.
In conclusion, the President thanked the doctors, without whom Ukraine would not be able to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Head of State also called on the government not to allow delays in the payment of salaries and surcharges to doctors and other medical staff.
"From next year, our medical staff will receive at least thirteen and a half thousand, and doctors - at least twenty thousand hryvnias… But please note that there should be no delays on our part… I understand that they are short, not all over Ukraine, however, there can be no delays in the issue of salaries of our doctors," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.