An Oxford/AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine for emergency medical use against coronavirus (COVID-19) was registered in Ukraine on Monday, the Health Ministry’s press service said.
During a press briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday, Deputy Health Minister Yaroslav Kucher said the vaccine will arrive in Ukraine in the morning on Tuesday.
Previously, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use has already been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the UK, EU and India have also given permission for its use.
Oxford/AstraZeneca (Covishield) applied for registration with the State Expert Center of the Health Ministry on February 15. Ukraine has a law that simplifies the registration procedure for COVID-19 vaccines and reduces it to five working days.
PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, following the results of its activities in 2020, slightly reduced sales of products in Ukraine due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to an interview of the director of the sales department in Ukraine and the CIS, Yevhen Chumachenko, published in the Metalurg corporate publication, according to preliminary estimates, last year the company on the domestic market slightly reduced sales to the indicators of the previous year as a result of the pandemic and a lockdown in the first half of the year.
“The purchasing activity of our clients in general and construction companies, in particular, during this period significantly decreased. The most significant decrease in the volume of purchases was made by small and medium-sized construction companies, in which the majority of workers are from other regions of the country. People left before the lockdown and then did not have the opportunity to return to objects. The demand began to recover only from June, in July-October it remained at a fairly high level. In November, the buying activity seasonally, as well as against the background of fears of a second lockdown in December, slightly decreased. However, if to look in general, then for the second half of the year we partially managed to make up for the losses of the first half of the year,” he said.
According to him, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih managed to keep its market positions.
The incidence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ukraine continues to decline, and the number of hospitalizations is also decreasing, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said during a press briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday.
“Last week, some 25,500 cases of COVID-19 incidence were detected, which is less than in the previous week (27,157 cases). If you look at the statistics, we see the situation is stabilized. For example, in the first week of December, some 89,000 cases were recorded. The number of hospitalized patients is also changing – in the first week of December there were about 28,000 people, and as of Monday 17,911 people in medical facilities,” he said.
According to the minister, the number of antigen tests is increasing. “During the week, some 144,248 PCR tests were done. The number of tests with rapid antigen tests is also growing, some 52,222 studies were conducted, which is 20,000 more than the previous week. Ukraine is provided with test systems,” he said.
Ukraine intends to vaccinate up to half of the population against COVID-19 this year and early next year, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.
“We now identify the next priority in the fight against coronavirus – vaccination. Its roadmap is designed to ensure proper and equal access to the vaccine for all residents of Ukraine. Its main task is to cover at least half of Ukraine’s population during 2021 and early 2022,” Zelensky said at the opening of the “Ukraine 30. Coronavirus: Challenges and Responses” Forum on Monday.
He said that vaccines against COVID-19 from four companies will be delivered to Ukraine.
“We have agreed to supply the vaccine from the Pfizer, Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Novavax companies to Ukraine. The first stage of vaccination will begin this month. Our doctors, the military and the National Guard will be the first to receive the vaccine,” Zelensky said.
In addition, the president said that Ukraine has taken the smart and effective steps to counter the pandemic.
“Ukraine has something to be proud of in terms of countering COVID-19… From the first day of fighting COVID-19, our actions were smart and effective,” the president added.
In particular, the President noted the effectiveness of tough quarantine.
Biopharmaceutical company Biopharma (Kyiv) has started the production a hyperimmune globulin drug, potentially effective against coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the drug is to be produced at the end of February.
The first fusion of plasma with antibodies against COVID-19 in the amount of 2,100 liters took place on January 25, the company said in a press release.
“The product will be supplied to the finished goods warehouse at the end of February. Further, the drug is tested in an independent French laboratory, which in March must confirm the antiviral activity of the drug,” the press release said.
The company said that in case of a positive conclusion of the European laboratory, Biopharma will be able to start clinical trials of the drugs in Ukraine.
The collection of plasma with antibodies against COVID-19 started in the spring of 2020 in cooperation with the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, of which Biopharma is a member. The goal of the alliance is to accelerate the development and provide reliable and sustainable treatment for people with complex coronavirus disease.
In October 2020, within the framework of the alliance, the third phase of a clinical trial of inpatient treatment with anti-coronavirus immunoglobulin started.
The results of clinical trials are planned to be published in April 2021. If the trials are successful, the new treatment could provide hope for those suffering from serious health consequences from COVID-19.
“To date, thanks to caring donors in Ukraine, it has been possible to collect about 10,700 liters of plasma from those who have overcome COVID-19. This amount of plasma will save hundreds of lives of Ukrainians. We thank every donor who has shared his part of antibodies to help seriously ill patients. And we continue to appeal to those who are not indifferent, to become plasma donors for the creation of vital drugs,” President of the company Kostiantyn Yefymenko said.
As reported, the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance was formed in April 2020 to fight the COVID 19 pandemic and to help develop potential plasma therapy for people who are prone to serious complications from COVID 19.
Biopharma is a Ukrainian biotechnology company, the only plant in Eastern Europe that has modern technologies, has been producing and developing drugs from donor plasma for almost 50 years.
The company is focused on providing medicines to Ukraine and on a contract basis, supplies its products to more than 30 countries around the world. In the fall of 2019, Biopharma moved its production to a new research and production complex in Bila Tserkva.
The company is developing a network of its own plasma centers. The company’s investments in this area of activity amounted to more than $10 million.
The tourism industry of Ukraine in 2020 saw about UAH 60 billion damage due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The demand is lower today and the damage to the market has been significant. If in the world the losses of the tourism industry amounted to about $ 800 billion, then in Ukraine, according to our calculations, about UAH 60 billion. This is the damage that the industry saw in 2020,” the head of the State Agency of Tourism Development in Ukraine, Maryana Oleskiv, said during a press conference on assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel industry in Ukraine.
At the same time, she clarified that the agency plans to publish the detailed results of the industry in 2020 in early February.
At the same time, there is still no detailed statistical data on the tourism market and its participants in Ukraine, Oleskiv said.
“For the state agency, this will be one of the priorities in the next  year. In the budget that we have, which is UAH 100 million, we plan to use a significant share of funding to create a unified tourism register, where all accommodation facilities and tourist activity subjects can register and receive operational statistics at least monthly,” the expert said.