The first coronavirus case was registered in Ukraine on 3 March 2020 in Chernivtsi – a Ukrainian man who came from Italy by car was tested positive. Since then, cases in the country had risen at quasi-exponential rates, slowing down during the imposition of a nationwide lockdown, and then rising again after it was lifted.
Several sources of data are available for studying coronavirus in Ukraine:
These sources of data may differ slightly between each other.
The number of COVID-19 deaths is laden with uncertainty because different countries have different methods of documenting the causes of a death. Therefore, the exact number of COVID-19 deaths will always be an approximation. However, it is possible to estimate how many of these deaths have gone under the radar — by comparing the average deaths in previous years with the reported overall deaths in 2020. The difference, or excess mortality, is suggestive of the true death toll caused by COVID-19. Here is an approximation from OurWorldInData:
According to another methodology, the number of excess deaths may be even higher – at least by two times:
The growth is largely regional – while some regions have a large outbreak, some have managed to contain the spread of the disease:
On 11 March, a quarantine was enforced, with education institutions being closed down. On 13 March, Ukraine saw its first coronavirus death, cut off international travel and sealed its borders for foreigners. Internal public transport has ceased as well. Public transport in Kyiv is restricted to essential categories of employees – medics, bank employees, supermarket workers, etc. Non-essential shopping, as well as all restaurants and recreation, have been shut down, and public gatherings with more than 10 participating prohibited, religious gatherings included. On 26 March, an emergency situation was introduced. On 1 April, stricter quarantine measures were introduced.
It was prohibited to:
These restrictions were in place until 12 May. Afterward, Ukraine, like many countries, eased its lockdown amid growing resistance to the measures amid accusations of selected businesses getting preferential treatment despite quarantine measures while extending the quarantine till 25 May. Most venues were reopened:
On 22 May, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health issued guidelines to further ease the COVID-19 lockdown, the so-called Phase 2. The guidelines are to be applied on a regional basis based on the epidemic situation in the region: if infection rates in the last 7 days are below 12 people per 100,000 citizens, if bed occupancy in health facilities designated for hospitalization of patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases is less than 50%, and if the average number of PCR tests is over 12 per 100,000 citizens in the past seven days. On 22 June, the guidelines on the MOZ website were changed: to have the quarantine lifted, bed occupancy still has to be under 50%, there have to be over 24 tests / 100,000 citizens, of which there have to be under 11% of positive cases.
The quarantine was eased in phases, from May 22 to June 15, when Ukraine relaunched air travel.
Starting on May 22:
Starting on May 25:
Starting on June 1:
Starting on June 10:
Starting on June 15:
Currently, Ukraine requires foreigners entering the countries determined to be with a high level of COVID-19 infections to undergo a two-week period of self-isolation. The list is published at the website of the Ministry of Health; currently, countries where the number of active cases per 100,000 of population is higher than Ukraine’s are “red” and those that are lower are “green.”
On 1 August, new quarantine rules came into force: the country adopted a microregional approach for restrictions, aka the adaptive quarantine.
If previously an entire oblast was subjected to stricter quarantine measures, including bans on public transport, cultural events, public gatherings, restaurant operation etc., in response to COVID-19 outbreaks, now only the affected regions and cities will be affected.
Oblasts will be monitored for violating at least one of four criteria:
If an oblast exceeds one of these criteria, then its districts will be assigned specific statuses. Those contributing under 5% of the violation will be “green” districts, “yellow” districts are those providing 5-20% of the violation, and “red” districts are responsible for over 50% of violations.
A live map has been launched with the relevant color codes for each region.
Currently, quarantine restrictions vary according to the color of the zone.
In all of Ukraine
Masks should be worn in public buildings and transport, documents should be carried in the streets, persons should not leave the places where they are undergoing self-isolation or observation. All sports events may be held without spectators in the green, yellow, and orange quarantine zones, except for international events as agreed by the Health Ministry separately. All restaurants and employers are recommended to organize work in shifts or via the Internet, while educational institutions are encouraged to switch to distance or blended learning. Distance learning is proposed to be introduced in colleges and universities from October 15 to November 15.
In the green zone
Mass events should include no more than 1 person per 5 sq meters, theaters and movie theaters should be no more than 50% full. The number of passengers in public transport should not exceed the seating capacity of the vehicle. The work of restaurants and cafes is limited (they will close no later than 22:00). Exceptions are only for catering establishments. Holding mass, cultural and sports events with the participation of over 50 people is prohibited.
In the yellow zone
Apart from the rules listed above, visits to social protection institutions are restricted; holding mass, cultural and sports events with the participation of over 30 people is prohibited.
In the orange zone
Apart from the rules listed above, mass events are allowed with no more than 100 participants and no more than 1 person per 20 sq m, no hospitality businesses except hotels are allowed to operate; restaurants and clubs are not allowed to operate from 24:00 to 7:00 (except delivery and takeout). Groups in education institutions may contain no more than 20 pupils (except for regular schools and kindergartens), planned hospitalizations are suspended, sports clubs may not operate, children’s camps are suspended. Holding mass, cultural and sports events with the participation of over 20 people is prohibited.
In the red zone
Apart from the rules above, public transport and all education is suspended, culture institutions, restaurants, shopping malls, fitness centers, and non-essential shopping and services are prohibited. The work of social servicing institutions is restricted.
28 August: borders resealed
The Ukrainian authorities, aiming to stop the annual Hasidic pilgrimage to the city of Uman, resealed the borders to foreigners. The restrictions were in place until 28 September.
September 30: borders reopened.
Foreigners are allowed to enter if they have an insurance certificate (with some exceptions). Ukrainian citizens and foreigners arriving from high-risk countries are required to self-isolate at home, if they install the Diya app on their smartphone, or undergo observation. There are exceptions to this requirement:
On 13 October, the adaptive quarantine was extended until the end of 2020. However, the criteria for determining the restriction zones were updated.
Oblasts will be monitored for violating at least one of four criteria:
Regions with morbidity rates of more than 320 per 100,000 people within 14 days will be put in the red quarantine zone.
On 11 November, Ukraine scrapped the adaptive quarantine and introduced a weekend lockdown. It was in place until 30 November, but rumor has it that the rules will apply until the end of the year. The following restrictions applied:
Lockdown restrictions were minimal during the Christmas holidays, but starting January 8, Ukraine once again introduced a strict lockdown, although it is not as strict as in the spring of 2020. All schooling except kindergartens has switched to online education; all non-essential trade is shut down, as are cafes, recreation facilities, gyms, etc. Transport will keep working.
During lockdown, the following activity will be allowed:
Public transport services in Ukraine will not be halted from January 8 to January 24.
All urban, commuter, and interregional transportation by any type of transport will operate at seated capacity only.
The capacity restriction shall not apply to subway.
In mid-June, as the quarantine measures started to be relaxed, COVID-19 infection rates started growing again and have been doing so ever since.
A way to assess how quickly the virus is replicating in Ukraine is the effective reproduction number, or simply Rt – a way of rating a disease’s ability to spread. It is the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average.
Some diseases, like measles, spread very quickly – it has a reproduction number of 15 in populations without immunity. The new coronavirus, known officially as Sars-CoV-2, has a reproduction number of about three, but estimates vary.
This is why nations have imposed lockdowns around the world: to lower the Rt so that eventually the outbreak of disease subsides.
The Ukrainian website texty.org.ua has made a model of Rt for Ukrainian oblasts based on data by Ukraine’s National Health Service. We have built a wiz based on their calculations below.
One must take the coronavirus statistics in Ukraine, however, with a grain of salt: there has been very little testing; Ukraine’s testing rates are one of the lowest in the world.
Part of the reason is Ukraine’s low testing capacity. Currently, the number of tests performed to identify one new confirmed case in Ukraine is low, meaning that the real extent of the pandemic is higher than painted by the official statistics — as it has been shown that the more tests, the more cases are registered.
See more live coverage of Coronavirus in Ukraine at Ukraine World’s liveblog.
Ukraine rolled out its vaccination program with CovidShield, AstraZeneca’s Indian-produced vaccine, on 24 February. The government has opened a dedicated website. However, vaccination numbers and speeds are among the lowest in the world:
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise in the world:
So far, daily cases have been rising, but daily deaths were on the decline:
Let’s break down the new daily cases, total cases, deaths, and active cases by country and region.
The dynamics of new cases, however, appears significantly different upon reviewing the relative numbers, i.e. new cases per million:
And on a map:
Regarding the daily deaths, we can see that after an initial spike in European deaths, they fell significantly, but not in other continents. There are marked irregularities in South America and smaller ones elsewhere:
When we normalize these results for the population, the European loss becomes even more pronounced:
The following graph shows the number of active cases per country, allowing to track which countries have managed to stop the spread of the infection, and where it is still growing:
And in relative numbers, this would be:
At present, foreigners coming from countries with more than 55 active COVID-19 cases per 100,000 are required to self-isolate for two weeks or do a COVID-19 test. We have mapped the 3-day average of this indicator below. This criterion was raised to 55 on 15 July; before that, it stood at 40, when Ukraine first opened its borders on 15 June (for more, see here).
In a table, this looks like this:
Coronavirus is a type of disease that spreads exponentially. The most important variable describing its development, the growth rate, or the number of days in which cases of infection and death double. With exponential growth, the number of coronavirus patients can explode in no time at all; this growth is different from the linear growth we are all accustomed to – see this Our World in Data explainer to find out more.
Countries around the world have taken measures to “flatten the curve” of rising coronavirus infections in order to save the health system from being overwhelmed and decrease fatality rates. To analyze the rate of new infections, it is useful to view the data with the logarithmic scale, like so:
One may easily notice in the logarithmic scaling (it can be toggled on and off by pressing “LOG” and “LINEAR” at the top of the Y-axis) where COVID-19 cases have stabilized and where they are growing.
Also useful is the graph of new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases with a color scale of positive rates, i.e. the percent of tests done which end up positive for COVID-19. The higher this percentage, the more likely it is that the epidemic is spreading and many cases are not being registered.
In terms of growth of COVID-19 cases per million people, like this – one can see that while Ukraine was spared by the first COVID-19 wave that hit Western Europe, especially Italy, cases have kept rising steadily throughout the summer.
Overall, the most coronavirus-hit countries, can be seen on this map:
Find lots of more graphs and explanations at Our World in Data, and come back to this page later for updates.