President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a conference call with heads of regional state administrations and mayors on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
The meeting was also attended by Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, representatives of profile ministries, Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak with his deputies, and Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko.
The Head of State called on regional managers to unite in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in Ukraine.
“Today, there are two important points: self-isolation and overcoming panic. Please explain to people that quarantine is not a joke and why it is needed. At this difficult time you should unite to show the government's joint work to protect Ukrainians. Set aside political strife. Our victory depends on our unity,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The Head of State said that in order to coordinate efforts and ensure the most effective cooperation for the sake of the health of Ukrainians, such conference calls with the regions will be held twice a week. He urged the regions and regional centers to list local issues for their joint resolution.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy also reminded that the first airplane from China is expected to arrive soon with the means of protection and tests, which will be distributed throughout regions.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal noted that the largest budgets for the struggle against the COVID-19 threat are in the regions where both regional and local budgets are combined, and big business is involved. He called on RSA heads and mayors to involve businesses in purchasing the necessary medical equipment.
“We, the government, work 24/7. We have meetings every day: with G7 representatives, Chinese government, IMF, and more. Our international and European partners support us. In some situations, we respond to calls faster than others,” Denys Shmyhal noted.
The Prime Minister also said that the monitoring of incidence and needs of government institutions is being held on the basis of information from local hospitals. It will help distribute resources fairly, correctly predict and make orders in the future. The Prime Minister also called for the prevention of corruption and abuse in the procurement of the means necessary to counteract the spread of coronavirus. He said that a Stabilization Fund is planned to be created to combat this infection and its consequences in Ukraine.
Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov called on regional leaders to address the issue of food markets that pose serious risks of the spread of coronavirus. He said that law enforcement agencies are systematically working to control compliance with quarantine and self-isolation, particularly by those who returned from abroad.
“Recently, 19,000 people returned from abroad as part of evacuation programs for Ukrainians. They are all given a note about self-isolation for two weeks and tested for coronavirus. The police are responsible to control their observation,” the Minister of the Interior said.
Chief medical officer of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko noted that a decree was issued stipulating that all Ukrainians coming from abroad must fill in questionnaires. This data will be transferred to the regions and medical officers in the regions will consult and, if necessary, assist those who came from another country. He also noted that it was determined which medical institutions should be repurposed to combat COVID-19.
Secretary of the Coordination Council under the President of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko stressed that he personally liaises with regional managers to quickly resolve the issue of supplying everything necessary to local hospitals.