Interactive COVID-19: Ukraine and world

Editor’s Note

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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:

  1. The Ukrainian Ministry of Health, updated daily. This data goes into our counter at the top of the page, as well at the top of our Tableau wiz;
  2. The John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science, also updated daily. This center accumulates coronavirus statistics for all the world countries;
  3. Ukraine’s Department of Regional Policy, which created a Tableau viz with detailed regional statistics of coronavirus infections.
  4. Analytical dashboards by Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers showing the situation in Ukraine’s hospitals and regional statistics.
  5. Analytical dashboards by Ukraine’s National Health Service (UNHS) also showing a detailed regional breakdown of cases and also counters of suspected and confirmed cases, as well as hospitalized and self-isolated patients. The raw data for this dashboard can be downloaded here; we use it to create the map of regional statistics in our Tableau wizzes lower. Note: this data differs from the one provided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, due to differences in reporting registered cases. While the MoH reports the new number of confirmed cases daily, the UNHS sorts them out by the date when the tests were collected.

These sources of data may differ slightly between each other.

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, making it illegal to:

  • visit public areas without a mask or respirator;
  • to move in groups more than two people, save for work necessity or to accompany a child;
  • visit public areas for under-14s;
  • visit parks, recreation areas, beaches, forested areas, except for one person to walk pets, except cases of work necessity;
  • visit playgrounds and sports grounds;
  • conduct all mass culture, recreation, sports, social, religious, advertising, and other events, in which more than 10 people take place, except measures necessary for the state or self-government organs to function, etc.

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. The following venues were reopened:

  • parks and recreation areas;
  • beauty salons and barbershops;
  • the majority of shops;
  • restaurants will offer take-away;
  • cafes and restaurants will offer outdoor seating;
  • museums and libraries;
  • professional sports teams will resume training in closed sports bases;
  • servicing for home appliances;
  • dentists, auditors, lawyers, notaries, etc.

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 (we are still keeping the infection rates on our tableau map, though).

As of 24 May, eight Ukrainian regions did not meet these criteria: Volyn, Rivnenska, Lvivska, Zakarpatska, Chernivetska, Kyivska, Dnipropetrovska, Luhanska, and Donetska oblasts. The capital city of Kyiv got in with a squeeze.

As of 24 May, eight regions had not lifted their lockdown

The quarantine will be eased in phases. The following will be allowed once again:

Starting on May 22:

  • All public transportation, intercity bus transportation, except metro systems and inter-regional transportation
  • Hotels (excluding restaurants and gyms)
  • Church services (no more than 1 person per 10m2)
  • Sporting events without spectators (up to 50 participants)

Starting on May 25:

  • Daycare centers
  • Metro systems

Starting on June 1:

  • Sports gyms and education facilities (group classes up to 10 people)
  • Inter-regional rail travel
  • Inter-regional bus transportation

Starting on June 10:

  • Inside seating at restaurants and coffee shops
  • Cultural institutions
  • Cultural events (up to 1 person per 5m2)

Starting on June 15:

Currently, Ukraine requires foreigners entering the country from a country of origin with over 55 active cases per 100,000 of population to undergo a two-week period of self-isolation (this was raised on 15 July from the original 40). But in fact, many Ukrainian regions do not meet that criterion:

On 1 August, new quarantine rules came into force: the country adopted a microregional approach for restrictions.

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:

  1. If more than 50% of hospital beds intended for COVID-19 patients are occupied;
  2. If there are less than 24 PLR and IFA tests per 100,000 of the population per 7 days;
  3. If the proportion of positive cases exceeds 11%;
  4. If the dynamics of new COVID-19 cases exceeds 10%.

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 violation.

A live map has been launched with the relevant color codes for each region.

Taking this change into account, COVID-19 requirements are the following in Ukraine starting from 1 August 2020:

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.

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.

In the yellow zone

Apart from the rules listed above, visits to social protection institutions are restricted;

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.

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.

The Reproduction number, or R

As of mid-June, as the quarantine measures started to be relaxed, COVID-19 infection rates started growing again. On 4 June, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health stated that 9 regions are not ready to soften the lockdown, while on 1 June the number was only 6. That day, Ukraine registered its record number of new daily cases – 588.

Offering further pessimism is a graph of the reproduction number of COVID-19 in Ukraine, or simply R. It is a way of rating a disease’s ability to spread. It’s 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 R so that eventually the outbreak of disease subsides.

Dr. Ihor Ivanov, a researcher at the Institute of Mechanics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, has been modeling reproduction numbers for COVID-19 in Ukraine. His results are in the graph below.

On the Y-axis is the sum of new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days. On the X-axis is the R number calculated by Dr. Ivanov. On 16 April, the R number was the highest: one person infected more than 1.5 people, on average. Then R gradually lowered, until it passed the threshold of 1 (the thick black vertical line) on 10 May, when 3350 new people were contracting COVID-19 per week, meaning that one person infected fewer than one other person, on average.

After that, we see both the number of infected people and R falling until 19 May, after which the trend is reversed – both R and the number of new infected people rises, until on 30 May R is again over 1, meaning that one infected person will pass on the disease to more than one other person and the outbreak of disease grows.

Did the quarantine which started to be relaxed on 12 May have something to do with this? It may very well be – as the number of newly infected people will be registered on tests with a lag of around a week.

Graph: Ihor Ivanov, edited by Euromaidan Press

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.

See more live coverage of Coronavirus in Ukraine at Ukraine World’s liveblog.


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.

And on a map:

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:

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 absolute numbers, the picture looks like this:

In terms of growth of COVID-19 cases per million people, like this: Overall, the most coronavirus-hit countries, can be seen on this map:

When it comes to the nations where coronavirus has caused the most deaths per million, like this:

However, the logarithmic scale reveals that growth rates of deaths appear to be tapering off in Western Europe and the USA.

Find lots of more graphs and explanations at Our World in Data, and come back to this page later for updates.

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