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Where is lockdown? Why Ukrainians are afraid of compatriots returning from abroad

Author : Olena Holubyeva

Source : 112 Ukraine

Even those who sincerely condemned the incident in Sanzhary, when buses with healthy Ukrainian citizens evacuated from China were stoned, are now genuinely concerned about the situation with the massive return of people with Ukrainian passports and citizenship
23:24, 25 March 2020

RBC-Ukraine

People say there really is little of a human in a human: a subtle layer of civilization, which can easily fly off like a husk when faced with phenomena that return us to our wild ancestors: hunger, a threat to loved ones, fear of our own liquidation. The Covid-19 pandemic once again confronts us with difficult choices and difficult questions.

Even those who sincerely condemned the incident in Sanzhary, when buses with healthy Ukrainian citizens evacuated from China were stoned, are now genuinely concerned about the situation with the massive return of people with Ukrainian passports and citizenship. The Foreign Ministry cheerfully reports that more than 50 000 Ukrainians have already returned to Ukraine with the assistance of diplomatic institutions.

They fly by special flights, return by trains specially organized for this purpose, sail on ferries and even cross the border on foot.

Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krikliy has already proposed to the Cabinet of Ministers to allocate more than $ 4 million from the state budget reserve fund for the return of Ukrainians from abroad. A week ago they talked about an organized evacuation of 35 479 citizens, for this it was planned to carry out 175 flights. Krikliy’s proposal was included in the protocol order to the relevant ministries.

But instead of joy and delight by these actions of the authorities, a wave of indignation and anxiety is growing in the social networks:

“50 000 people returned to the country from territories with coronavirus. These people did not go through quarantine, but authorities simply sent them home. A question: Why they make bad things to the whole country? .. Maybe there’s a little flaw that needs to be corrected?" - lawyer Denys Fetisov writes on Facebook.

Similar questions are asked in the comments under the Ukrzaliznytsia post about organizing the return of Ukrainians by special train from Poland.

But if you look closely and deeply, people are outraged not so much by the fact of the return of compatriots, as by the actions of the Ministry of Health, officials and representatives of sanitary services in Ukraine. They are not trusted. No one fully believes in their ability to keep the situation under control. Let's be honest: there are reasons for disbelief and doubt.

Commenting on the return to Odesa of a cargo and passenger ferry with 100 citizens who could not get home by air, the chief state sanitary doctor for water transport Mykola Golubyatnikov said that rapid testing for Covid-19 not carried out. "The order is such that healthy people who claim to have had no direct contact with a patient with coronavirus infection are not examined," he explained.

Related: Healthcare facilities granted right to forcibly hospitalize people with Covid-19 symptoms

Passengers filled out forms recommended by the Ministry of Health on which countries they were in, and left their contacts. They were given a memo on self-isolation and recommendations where to go when their health worsens.

Most people who return from abroad, including those who cross the border on their own, simply measure the temperature (which, if you feel unwell, can be easily fixed with banal antipyretic drugs). And then all these people who fly, sail, grive, get to their homes in different regions. Only recently, the authorities have become preoccupied with this problem, and this is only because they themselves have limited the movement of most types of transport!

Are there people already infected with the coronavirus? We will soon find out ... after the expiration of the incubation period and in the event that test systems appear in the regions, as well as the masks and antiseptics promised by the authorities. At least in the capital!

Other countries more strictly and responsibly treat citizens entering into their territory after the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the very beginning, one of the first to introduce mandatory 14-day quarantine for all entering the country was Israel. Today, mandatory quarantine (quarantine as a condition of entry into the country, rather than self-restriction) has been introduced by most countries in the world.

In Ukraine, only 105 Ukrainians and foreign citizens were detained on the 14-day quarantine in Novi Sanzhary. And this is against the backdrop of 50 000 who entered without any lockdown!

According to official recommendations published by the Ministry of Health for people who are returning to the country, “every citizen of Ukraine who returns from a state in which cases of Covid-19 were recorded (and there are practically no more countries where the virus was not detected) must pass necessary control procedures at border crossings. " What kinds of procedures are mentioned?

In particular, citizens are urged upon returning to Ukraine to "strictly adhere to the regime of self-isolation". It is explained that self-isolation "first of all means that a person should avoid contact with other people for at least 14 days," and if he doesn’t live alone, he must "be isolated in a separate room." It sounds funny if we assume that many people live in one-room apartments with a single toilet and shower for the entire household. Violating of the regime of self-isolation, according to the Ministry of Health, is possible only when seeking medical help. In this case, you need to call your family doctor and get further recommendations.

At the same time, changes in the recommendations for primary care physicians for the treatment of persons suspected of having Covid-19 have only recently been made. But the draft order on forced hospitalization is still a project in general. As well as the draft recommendations for disinfection of surfaces in case of virus infection.

I would like to believe that people who make responsible decisions today, including with regard to creating a safe environment for all Ukrainians, and not just those who return from abroad or observe quarantine at home, understand – they have nowhere to go given that the Covid- pandemic 19 already covered the whole planet! And if as a result of their irresponsible actions the most pessimistic scenario would be realized, they will remain in unenviable solitude - one on one with the coronavirus apocalypse.

I would like to believe that they understand this and will not allow such a situation to develop. Although it is still unclear why it was impossible to quarantine all citizens who arrived at their homeland. For the good of the whole country.

Related: Woman infected with coronavirus died in Sumy region

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