The President's Office hosted a traditional conference call chaired by Volodymyr Zelenskyy on preventing the spread of coronavirus. The Head of State heard the reports on the readiness of hospitals to treat the patients and the latest statistics on the spread of infection. It was particularly noted that the death rate from COVID-19 in Ukraine is low - 2.6%.
The President asked about the state of the economy and the functioning of programs that should help businesses in the quarantine period.
"We discussed a number of credit support programs for small and micro businesses, because they suffer the most from quarantine. We need to help them now and after quarantine so that they can recover quickly. We need to offer them so-called payment holidays," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the government has created all the prerequisites for the full operation of the updated program "Affordable Loans 5-7-9%", as well as finalizes another program - "New Money", under which entrepreneurs will be able to get loans at a very low interest rate.
"These programs will help Ukrainian businesses withstand the difficult economic conditions caused by the epidemic, as well as guarantee the preservation of jobs. The main condition of the programs is the preservation of at least 80% of jobs in small and micro businesses," Denys Shmyhal said.
The Prime Minister also said that, according to the State Employment Center, additional 140,000 unemployed people were registered this month. The Cabinet of Ministers has allocated six billion hryvnias from the Anti-coronavirus Fund to help people who have lost their jobs.
The President also touched upon the issue of the delay in the payment of supplements for doctors working with COVID-19 patients in March. The Prime Minister explained that the money was directed to the regions, but the local authorities were guided not by this year's resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, but by a document of the Ministry of Social Policy from 2003. Therefore, despite the availability of funds in the regions, they could not be paid. This week, the government will seek a solution to make these financial resources available to doctors.
"This money must be paid. Bureaucracy, of course, is often an obstacle, but in this case we cannot be guided by the old rules in the face of new challenges. All those who deserve it should receive additional payments. As soon as possible," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
April payments will be made through the National Health Service of Ukraine, so there should be no problems, Denys Shmyhal added.
Plans to mitigate quarantine were also discussed at the meeting. When implementing adaptive quarantine, masks and social distancing will be mandatory to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks.