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Quarantine in Ukraine: what will change in 2021 and when to expect the lifting of all restrictions

Quarantine in Ukraine will last at least until the end of April. But everyone is only interested in one thing: when the restrictions will finally be lifted, with which they had to live for almost a year.

On February 17, the Cabinet of Ministers again extended the nationwide quarantine. Quarantine restrictions will be in effect until April 30. At the same time, Ukraine will return to the division into quarantine zones from February 24. Now the entire territory of the state will be in the yellow zone.

Limiting the yellow zone

  • hold mass events if more than 1 person in 4 square meters;
  • work of accommodation establishments (hostels, tourist centers, etc.), except for hotels;
  • planned hospitalizations in hospitals;
  • work of gyms, fitness centers, cultural institutions – if more than 1 visitor per 10 square meters;
  • visiting social welfare institutions with elderly people;
  • cafes, bars, restaurants cannot work between 00:00 and 07:00. However, targeted delivery and takeaway are allowed;
  • in public buildings, you should only wear masks or respirators.

Adaptive quarantine

Health Minister Maxim Stepanov announced that adaptive quarantine would be introduced in 1-1.5 weeks. That is, the country will again be divided into green, orange, yellow, green zones and appropriate restrictions will be introduced.

“Now we are returning to the regime in which we lived until January 8th. Then for 7-10 days we look at how the situation has changed in the regions, and then we introduce adaptive quarantine,” Stepanov emphasized.

The head of the Ministry of Health stressed that it takes time to analyze the epidemiological situation in the regions.

Is it possible to re-enter the lockdown?

According to Maksim Stepanov , the government planned restrictions, taking into account the fact that the enhanced quarantine in Ukraine will last 16 days.

This is the period we need to completely bring down the wave of the spread of COVID-19. We need this so that we will not introduce any lockdowns until spring, so that we can calmly pass the peak increase in the incidence of influenza and so that our medical system can withstand,
” he explained.

Actually, that’s why the lockdown was not extended. Stepanov emphasized that no hard restrictions are planned in the spring either.

What do the doctor’s say

Doctor of Medical Sciences and Immunologist Andrey Volyansky noted that Ukraine has passed only half of the way to reduce the incidence. Despite the positive result now, the situation may worsen over time. Volyansky added that the lockdown is a powerful tool, but it cannot be used again in the near future.

Was the introduction of a lockdown in Ukraine justified?

Experts predicted an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases after the Christmas holidays. Therefore, the government’s decision was to a certain extent logical.

In any case, if people get together after the lockdown, there may still be a certain increase in the incidence. Because the return of communication and contacts between people always leads to this,
– epidemiologist Lyudmila Mukharskaya explained to us.

President of the Ukrainian Medical Club, Honored Health Worker and Practitioner Ivan Soroka also believed that there were no absolute signs for the introduction of a hard lockdown, except for political ones.

What are the results of the lockdown

The number of new patients with coronavirus during the lockdown did gradually decrease. Stepanov stressed that the enhanced quarantine helped stabilize the situation with the coronavirus in Ukraine and thanked for compliance.

In early December, the number of patients in hospitals with COVID-19 was 10 thousand more patients than now. In addition, 30 612 cases of the disease per week are almost 14 thousand less than in the past.

When can we forget about distance and masks?

With the start of vaccination against COVID-19, the world is becoming more and more confident that the end of the pandemic and the end of quarantine in particular is not far off.

In Ukraine, as Prime Minister Denis Shmygal noted , quarantine will definitely last until the end of February 2021. However, according to him, so far no country is able to predict when this all will finally end – “it looks like this will not happen in 2021” :

To say that this summer is over? I’m sure it won’t end. We will live with coronavirus, according to forecasts, for the next two years. The question is: what format of our coexistence will be, but it still remains a secret.

Lyudmila Mukharskaya, in turn, recalls that Ukraine is only a part of the world in which a pandemic exists. Therefore, if the situation improves everywhere, then it will already be possible to say that our recommendations regarding distance and masks will be softened.

Of course, the vaccine should improve the situation. But, according to the expert, it won’t be very fast. After all, the very process of vaccination of such a large number of people so that a certain collective immunity arises is long-term.

They talk about two years, but we do not yet know how much of this vaccine will be. That is, perhaps in a year the situation will somehow become clearer – if we get vaccinated. Now talk about the time when the mask mode, distance, etc. will be removed. – early,
– the epidemiologist concludes.

Ivan Soroka, President of the Ukrainian Medical Club, is convinced that we will never return to such calm times, which were before 2020, and certain quarantine restrictions will still remain with us. In addition, new strains of the virus have emerged and we need to monitor whether the vaccines currently on the market will be effective against them, whether they will give one hundred percent immunity and or require an update of the vaccine strains annually, as we do with influenza viruses.

The sooner we start to vaccinate the population, the faster we can talk about a real stabilization of the situation,
– the specialist explained.

 

The most likely scenario for the end of the pandemic , based on POLITICO’s interviews with leading virologists, looks like this:

  • a constant decrease in the number of cases of COVID-19 – until the fall of 2021 ;
  • normalization of daily life – within two years .

The exact time depends on a number of factors, such as the availability of rapid tests for COVID-19, the effectiveness of the vaccine, and people’s compliance with mask wearing requirements and keeping distance.

The vaccine must be effective and widespread enough to achieve herd immunity – when people, in theory, can safely remove their masks and attend mass events. This will happen when about 60-70% of the population is immune to the disease – then the virus simply cannot multiply.

However, the world will probably live with COVID-19 forever, even after mass vaccinations. However, if its level is high enough, covid will become just another disease to which the majority of the population has a certain level of immunity.

Chronology of quarantine in Ukraine

  • March 11, 2020 – the government introduced strict quarantine throughout the country;
  • March 12 – May 11, 2020 – strict quarantine in Ukraine;
  • May 12 – November 13, 2020 – adaptive quarantine;
  • November 14 – November 30, 2020 – weekend quarantine;
  • November 30, 2020 – February 28, 2021 – planned adaptive quarantine;
  • January 8 – January 24, 2021 – planned hard quarantine.
  • From January 25, 2021 – nationwide quarantine with orange zone restrictions;
  • From February 24, 2021 – nationwide quarantine with yellow zone restrictions;

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