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16:42 17 Feb 2021

Cabinet of Ministers extends quarantine until April 30

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved a resolution on establishing adaptive quarantine in Ukraine by April 30; they established 4 levels of epidemiological danger and indicators for their definition.

Health Minister Maksym Stepanov stated this at a government meeting, Ukrinform reports.

"We propose to extend the quarantine on the territory until April 30, 2021. According to our calculations, by April 30, we must live under quarantine restrictions. We propose to establish adaptive quarantine on the territory of Ukraine by introducing levels of epidemic danger. We offer a division into 4 levels: green, yellow, orange, and red," Stepanov said.

According to Stepanov, the green level is the indicator that we must achieve to consider revising or lifting quarantine restrictions.

Condition for its achievement is the incidence of influenza and SARS in at least 13 regions not exceeding 50% of the epidemic threshold set for the region under the procedure for SARS surveillance. The second indicator is the coefficient of detecting COVID-19 infection cases by PCR and determining the SARS-n-CoV-2 antigen.

These indicators, according to Stepanov, were chosen because many people don't seek testing for COVID-19, and their disease is referred to as an acute respiratory illness if they see a doctor.

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At the yellow level, now basic for the entire country, there are restrictions to which the country returned after a strict quarantine on January 8-25.

Currently, according to Stepanov, several alleviations have been made: it's allowed to hold mass, cultural, and sports events while providing 4 square meters for one person or occupancy of halls up to 50%.

Groups of more than 20 people may visit educational institutions.

It's allowed to hold matches of team sports with fans, but with a limited number of seats.

Catering venues are allowed to work up to 00:00 (previously, up to 23:00).

At the orange level, according to Stepanov, there are no additional quarantine restrictions.

"Like a traffic light, it signals a potential danger, i.e. an approaching red level of epidemiological danger in the region," Stepanov said.

The transition to the orange level will take place if at least one of the indicators of epidemic danger levels is exceeded.

The indicators are:

  • the occupancy of beds supplied with medical oxygen in health care facilities treating COVID-19 patients is more than 60%;
  • the number of PCR tests and rapid tests for COVID-19 antigen is less than 300 during the last 7 days per 100 thousand population;
  • the number of hospitalizations of patients with confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 is over 60 during the last 7 days per 100 thousand population;
  • the detection rate of infection with PCR or COVID-19 antigen test is more than 20%;
  • an increase in the total number of hospitalizations during the last 7 days compared to the previous similar period is more than 50%.

The decision to move the region to the orange level will be made by the head of work against emergencies.

At the orange level, local governments may impose additional restrictive measures.

The transition of the region to the red level of epidemiological danger will occur in case of exceeding two indicators for three consecutive days.

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Strict quarantine restrictions are imposed at the red level. In particular, the ban on the work of food venues, shopping malls and entertainment establishments, educational institutions, except for kindergartens and primary schools, non-food markets, sports facilities.

At the red level, the work of financial institutions, pharmacies, veterinary institutions, grocery stores will be allowed.

The red level will be introduced through the decision of the state commission of man-made environmental safety and emergencies within 48 hours after its introduction.

"The resolution shall enter in force on February 24, 2021, except for paragraph 10 of clause 4, clause 2, of the changes approved by this resolution. These clauses apply to matches of team sports, professional sports clubs, with spectators not over 50%. This clause becomes valid on February 18, 2021," Stepanov said.

The resolution was adopted with revision within one day.

According to Stepanov, the strategy to combat COVID-19, chosen by the Cabinet, helped save the lives of Ukrainians.

"All our strategy that has been up to this day (the adaptive quarantine that was in the summer, then the strict quarantine measures that were in the fall, the strict quarantine that we introduced in January) has paid off. … one of the major results of this fight is the number of lives we managed to save, in part thanks to our doctors and the chosen strategy," Stepanov said.

According to him, Ukraine is now ranked 34th in Europe in terms of mortality from COVID-19 per 1 million population.

Stepanov also informed that as of early February, the health care system had more than 67,000 beds for hospitalization of patients with and suspected coronavirus disease, of which over 57,000 were provided with oxygen. For comparison, the Minister cited the capacity of the medical system as of February 2020: 12 thousand beds that were allocated for hospitalization of the infected, of which 3.5 thousand were provided with oxygen.

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