Threat posed by coronavirus is greater than ever, - Ukraine's Health Minister addresses Ukrainians, full text

Source : 112 Ukraine

"Some people tell me not to escalate the situation, because it allegedly sows panic. But let me remind you that we are not in a totalitarian state to silence the truth"
22:22, 15 March 2020

Ilya Yemets, Ukraine's Health Minister

Dear Ukrainians!

As a surgeon my calling is to save lives, as a manager, I have to run a successful healthcare facility, as a statesman - I have to manage the healthcare system of a multi-million country.

Now I am speaking as a doctor, as a manager, and as Ukraine's Health Minister.

Some people tell me not to escalate the situation because it allegedly sows panic. But let me remind you that we are not in a totalitarian state to silence the truth.

In the Chernobyl tragedy, the Soviet authorities told us everything was all right. I will not remain silent, because the life and health of Ukrainians is a priority for me.

With all responsibility, I report that today the threat posed by the coronavirus is greater than ever. Neither material wealth nor social status matters for infection. Both world-famous politicians, actors and ordinary people get sick. Today, the number one enemy not only for the Ukrainian society but for the whole world is a deadly infection - a coronavirus.

The global community did not immediately recognize the scope of the threat. From the bitter example of other countries, we see what dawdling brings. Every hour can cost hundreds, even thousands, of human lives.

We have no right to wait for mass infection of Ukrainians. We must act immediately, ahead of schedule. Hard and without exceptions.

It is necessary to close catering establishments and shopping malls, only pharmacies, and grocery stores should operate, it is necessary to restrict movement within the country, introduce a remote mode of work for employees, review the mode of operation of public transport and restrict gatherings of people in groups of up to 10 people.

Hospitals should be immediately re-profiled into infectious ones, taking into account the situation. Only urgent cases need to be processed. All planned activities should be canceled and all resources should be prepared to fight against infection. In addition, the Ministry of Health actively gathers the best Ukraine's epidemiologists to add them to the Operational Headquarters so that we can respond more quickly to the new challenges posed by the epidemic.
I call all Ukrainians not to be lightminded. This is a time when you should not panic, but to mobilize, to gather all your strength and help yourself, your loved ones and your fellow citizens. It is now possible to prevent a terrible tragedy throughout Ukraine. The successful experience of other countries shows that self-isolation is the most effective way of preventing the spread of the disease. Be aware, take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Throughout history, no enemy has overcome the Ukrainian people.
Follow the instructions, rules and recommendations, act in unison and we will get a guaranteed win! There is no other way.
Keep an eye on the official sources of information of the Health Ministry of Ukraine and be healthy!

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