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Roughly 19% of Ukraine’s COVID-19 infections are among medical workers

Photo: open source
Roughly 19% of Ukraine’s COVID-19 infections are among medical workers
Ukraine’s Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov reports that in the last 24 hours, 100 new cases were diagnosed among Ukrainian medical workers. This brings the total count of infected medical personnel to 784, which is 18.8% of the total infection rate.

The official COVID-19 count for 16 April, 2020 was:

confirmed cases – 4161
new cases in 24 hours – 397; of these, 29 are children.
deaths – 116
recovered – 186.

Ukraine’s infection rate among medics compared to other countries

How does an infection rate of 18.8% compare to other countries?

On 15 April, the USA had 9,300 infections among healthcare workers for 607,670 cases – roughly 2% (this is probably an undercount, however).

According to an 8 April report by the European Center for disease prevention and control, 3.8% of all confirmed cases in China were among healthcare workers.

9% of COVID-19 cases in Italy are healthcare workers, with the number reaching 20% in the Lombardy region.

6% of Dutch healthcare workers tested positive.

According to the latest data from Spain, healthcare workers make up 18.5% of total COVID-19 cases.

In Poland, the number was roughly 15% on 3 April.

As of 11 April, approximately 2% of German healthcare workers were infected with COVID-19.

This makes Ukraine’s rate of infections among the highest in the world.

Business steps in to help cover needs of healthcare workers

Ukrainian doctor Olha Kobevko with colleagues involved in fighting COVID-19. Photo via RFE/RL

Although healthcare workers worldwide are facing shortages of supplies to protect them from COVID-19, Ukrainian medics appear to be severely affected. As well, they are among the most vulnerable population groups.

The salaries of Ukrainian healthcare workers are among the lowest in the world – the average paycheck of a healthcare professional in Ukraine in 2019 was only $250. Although the salaries of medics involved in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic were tripled at the end of March, that leaves scores of regular healthcare workers dealing with many patients every day vulnerable to an extremely contagious disease, with little savings to facilitate treatment in case of infection.

As well, Ukraine has entered the second phase of its healthcare reform, which makes the financial situation of hospitals precarious.

But apart from this, medics face a shortage of protective equipment, especially medics not specializing in the battle against COVID-19.

Business has stepped in to help Ukrainian medics meet ends, RFE/RL reported.

The Ukrainian company Interpipe provided $2 mn for state procurements of COVID-19 tests and purchased $1.3 mn’s worth of individual protective gear.

The MHP agro holding donated $2 mn to the National Fund to combat COVID-19 spread, to purchase tests, ventilators, and protective gear for medics. The Roshen candy company purchased 10,000 protective gear sets for healthcare workers, and companies such as the Epicenter construction store, the Nova Poshta delivery service, and Silpo supermarket chain have made donations as well.

Funds of Ukrainian millionaires and billionaires have also stepped into the fight, with Rinat Akhmetov’s fund donating $11 mn and Serhiy Tihipko’s fund – $0.2 mn to purchasing necessities for healthcare workers.

Despite this, cases of COVID-19 outbreaks among healthcare workers have led to closures of wards and hospitals.

Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No. 6 has been closed due to a sudden outbreak of COVID-19. All the medical personnel employed in neurology, cardiology and different therapeutic wards were tested positive for COVID-19.

Hospital personnel told reporters that even after the hospital had been assigned to receive patients with pneumonia, no measures were taken to ensure adequate safety and protection. They maintain that the administration did not provide workers with protective suits, ventilators, gloves, and glasses.


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