President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a conference call with representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers and law enforcement agencies to control the situation with the spread and prevention of coronavirus infection. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal provided the current data on the epidemic situation and informed that last week 10 more hospitals started accepting patients with COVID-19. He also noted that the number of beds for such patients has increased by 4,400, and that the government continues to increase the number of tests.
Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov stressed that pursuant to the order of the President, oxygen concentrators are being purchased and companies producing medical oxygen are being licensed. Additionally, 16 such enterprises were licensed.
The Head of State was also informed that the hospitals of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Ukrzaliznytsia accept urgent patients who do not have COVID-19 in order to make room for patients with coronavirus infection in repurposed medical institutions. This added about 5,000 beds. Currently, the change of routes is being finalized so that patients in an urgent condition can be brought to these institutions.
Additionally, the government purchases antibody tests. 3 million such tests will be purchased for UAH 1 billion allocated for this purpose. Now the first hundred thousand are on the way.
The President asked if the coronavirus hotline launched by the Ministry of Health to consult and help people was working. Maksym Stepanov said that 53% of those who applied had questions about family doctors. They mainly concerned the inability to contact one's own family doctor, the fact that a person does not have a family doctor, or the inability to send a mobile team. The Minister of Health assured that all appeals are carefully processed.
The parties dwelled on the preparation of beds in case of an increase in patients. In a few weeks, about a hundred thousand more should be provided.
"Temporary quarantine for the weekend, for about a few weeks, can help us avoid a hard lockdown. In this way we will avoid a large increase in patients and have time to prepare the required number of beds. Increasing the number of beds, wearing masks and temporary quarantine on the weekend will have a good effect. Our scenario of the epidemic situation in the cold season will not be the worst," the President said.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said that the number of people in masks is noticeably increasing, as Ukrainians have begun to take a more responsible approach to anti-epidemic measures.