Ukraine Changes its Algorithm
Liashko spills the beans about botched COVID-19 response
Two weeks after announcing an algorithm to keep track of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) in Ukraine, Deputy Health Minister and Chief Sanitary Doctor Viktor Liashko has announced it would be changed.
Everyone is yelling at us that we test too little. We have done quite a bit of testing and test everyone who needs to be tested. This is what we see at the national level. When colleagues travel to the regions, however, they see where our algorithms are broken. However, the magic pendulum will save this world, including Ukraine, Liashko said in an interview published by the Kyiv-based Left Bank ezine on April 12.
As of April 14, Ukraine had earned the invidious distinction of testing for COVID-19 less than any country in Europe - 693 per one million inhabitants.
We are expecting an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, a significant increase, because of a change in our testing algorithms. We will now test all pneumonia patients, all people with fever and all of their contacts, Liashko said.
The deputy minister in the interview blamed hiccups in Ukraine’s response to COVID-19 on former Health Minister Illia Yemets, who was sacked in late March after saying the country’s depleted medical resources should not be wasted on saving the lives of anyone over the age of 65. Liashko said he tendered his resignation four times when Yemets was minister.
Recall what Liashko said on March 30 about testing.
“Why aren’t we conducting massive testing? Because it doesn’t make any sense, due to the ‘incubation period’ of the virus. To do so would not make economic or epidemiological sense,” Liashko said then.
Rather than testing the tens of thousands of Ukrainians returning from Europe, these people will be quarantined for observation, he said.
"The government decided yesterday to oblige all returning Ukrainians to undergo observation in places determined by the regional state administrations. The decision obliges all returning Ukrainians who came in contact with the virus to isolate themselves. If self-isolation cannot be ensured at home, these people will be sent for observation," Liashko said.
Recall what Zelensky said on January 31 about the pandemic.