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Ukraine’s military activity fuels COVID-19 pandemic

Due to low vaccination rates, Ukraine faces a high risk of death and serious illness, especially since more than 2 million people have been displaced to neighboring areas where vaccination rates are also low. ‘

On March 13, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern that military action in Ukraine could exacerbate the COVID-19 pandemic and said the country was working to limit the spread of the virus. spread of the virus. orchid. Pandemic.

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A Ukrainian serviceman has “Mommy” written on his weapon strap as he stands guard at a checkpoint on a main road in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, March 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The WHO’s COVID-19 situation report released on the same day showed that between March 3 and 9, Ukraine and surrounding countries recorded a total of 791,021 new cases and 8,012 deaths.

The region has seen fewer COVID-19 infections compared to the previous week, according to the World Health Organization.

However, due to low vaccination rates, Ukraine is at risk of more deaths and serious illness, especially as more than 2 million people leave Ukraine and flee to neighboring regions with high infection rates. Vaccination rates are high. Low tension. .

According to our data world, Ukraine’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is around 34%, while neighboring Moldova’s is around 29%.

[WHO considers criteria for declaring an end to a global emergency]

To support disease prevention, WHO has purchased medicines to treat COVID-19, while encouraging vaccination campaigns and strengthening surveillance for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, the report said.

WHO also recommends laboratory support, including testing for COVID-19.

Hungary is expected to provide free vaccines to Ukrainian refugees. The Romanian Ministry of Health has deployed a medical team to screen and vaccinate Ukrainians who have fled to the country to prevent COVID-19.

Slovakia offers Ukrainians free COVID-19 treatment, while Moldova offers Ukrainians free vaccines against COVID-19.

In a joint statement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), WHO highlighted the need for humanitarian aid partners and health workers to maintain and strengthen health services. Essentials, including vaccinations against COVID-19 and polio, and medical care for civilians across Ukraine and refugees arriving in neighboring countries.

Health services, including care procedures and rapid referrals for children and pregnant women, should be systematically arranged at border crossings, the statement added.

Earlier, WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan also warned that the COVID-19 epidemic in Ukraine will increase due to reduced testing, a halt in vaccination programs and fear and fear. . of people. The pressure of the crisis combined with the already low vaccination rates.

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