More than 3,000 people have been vaccinated from COVID-19 in Ukraine, Deputy Minister of Health Yaroslav Kucher said during a press briefing in Kyiv on Monday.
“Recently, more than 3,000 people have been vaccinated in Ukraine. Vaccination is carried out in a cascade way, that is, in the near future, one should expect that the number of vaccinated people will significantly increase,” he said.
At the same time, Kucher urged Ukrainians not to believe fakes about vaccinations and to receive information from reliable sources, in particular from the Ministry of Health.
The COVID-19 crisis has taken a heavy toll on human life, as well as damaged economies and livelihoods. Vaccines have emerged as the best way to ensure not only public health security, but also restore economic sectors affected by the crisis. In this context, the Government of Ukraine had reached out to the Government of India for support.
Given India and Ukraine’s multifaceted and strong bilateral relations, the Embassy of India in Ukraine, with the support of the Government of India, has facilitated the supply of vaccines to Ukraine in February, in order to initiate Ukraine’s public vaccination drive. Ukraine is one of the early countries to receive vaccine from India in February.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a personal request to Prime Minister Modi. In addition, sustained efforts by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in collaboration with the Ambassador of India in Ukraine Partha Satpathy have ensured that necessary agreements and permissions could be concluded on time for supply the first tranche of vaccines- 500,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca and Serum Institute of India developed COVISHIELD vaccine.
Going forward, larger quantities of Made in India vaccines are expected to be supplied as production is ramped up in India. There is regular contact between the Governments of Ukraine and India, and with vaccine manufacturers, to secure more vaccines for Ukraine. This supply of vaccine is another exemplar of the major role played by Indian pharmaceutical industry in ensuring the health security of Ukraine.
Ambassador’s meeting with Health Minister Maksym Stepanov
On January 25-29 this year, instead of the traditional Davos Forum, the World Economic Forum will host the Davos Agenda online event dedicated to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery of economies.
According to a posting on the WEF website, the Davos Agenda is a pioneering mobilization of global leaders to shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed in this challenging new context.
“The pandemic has accelerated systemic changes that were apparent before its inception… The time to rebuild trust and to make crucial choices is fast approaching as the need to reset priorities and the urgency to reform systems grow stronger around the world,” the WEF said.
Davos Agenda will address the impact of COVID-19 on the life of mankind, including the economic impact, the search for solutions to fight crisis, actions on climate change, the development of modern technologies, the future of the labor market.
The Davos Agenda will also mark the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset Initiative and begin the preparation of the Special Annual Meeting in the spring.
According to the list of Davos Agenda participants at the disposal of Interfax-Ukraine, seven representatives from Ukraine have registered for the event, in particular, from DTEK – CEO Maksym Timchenko, Chairman of DTEK Advisory Council Johan Bastin, Chief Innovation Officer at DTEK Emanuele Volpe and Advisor to CEO on International Relations Yulia Burmistenko, from Smart Holding – its founder Vadim Novinsky and CEO Alexey Pertin. In addition, Olha Stoliarchuk, a representative of the Kyiv Hub educational project, plans to take part in the event.
An international research group consisting of 19 scientists from Germany, the U.K., Italy, the United States and Ukraine has published the results of a study of the effectiveness of the drug Amizon (active compound enisamium iodide) in the treatment of COVID-19 disease. The trials were carried out in-vitro (in laboratory). Its results are published on the Medrxiv website, which belongs to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (the United States) and it is the world’s main resource providing open access to the results of research on COVID-19.
In their article, scientists from Institute of Medical Virology, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University described for the first time the antiviral effect of Amizon against SARS-CoV-2. The co-authors of the article, scientists from Oxford and Cambridge Universities, have revealed the mechanism of action of the drug, which consists in inhibiting the viral RNA polymerase, under the influence of which the virus multiplies.
The results of the study made it possible to start the third stage of clinical trials of the drug in Ukraine. In May 2020, a multi-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of Amizon Max was launched. In the course of the study, the use of Amizon was combined with basic treatment of patients with moderate severity of COVID-19 infection.
The trials were carried out in parallel in several clinics in different cities of Ukraine. Specialists from Germany were involved in the study.
Intermediate results of the third stage of clinical trials of Amizon demonstrated its effectiveness in patients requiring non-invasive oxygen support (without the use of a ventilator). In particular, at this stage of the study, Amizon showed itself as a drug that accelerates the onset of a significant improvement in the condition of patients on average up to three days.
At the same time, to confirm or refute the positive trend, an additional recruitment of patients is currently being carried out to continue clinical trials. Final results are expected at the end of February.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Saturday night decided to provide Ukraine with a $300 million loan for the Second additional financing aimed at overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic for the project “Modernization of social support system for the population of Ukraine.”
“Social protection measures, for the implementation of which a new loan is provided, will help the government of Ukraine finance social assistance programs in order to save about one million Ukrainians from falling below the poverty line,” the bank’s release quoted the words of its regional director for Eastern Europe (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine) Arup Banerji.
The World Bank’s support for Ukraine to protect low-income citizens who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak is a powerful anti-poverty response, he said.
The World Bank reminds that the decision on the first additional financing for the above project in the amount of $150 million was made on April 30 this year.
According to the bank’s forecasts, due to the consequences of the pandemic, the poverty level in Ukraine could grow by 4 percentage points, reaching about 23% by the end of 2020.
Its experts report that the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic requires the introduction of prompt emergency response measures in the country and the provision of emergency cash assistance to citizens. It also highlighted the need to strengthen social protection infrastructure and develop systems capable of delivering payments to people in times of crisis.
“The allocated funds will help Ukraine finance urgent measures in the field of social protection to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provide for emergency cash payments to those citizens and households who have lost their jobs or sources of income as a result of the pandemic,” the message says.
The second additional funding will support the introduction of an online social assistance system and the expansion of social benefits and pensions through direct money transfers to bank accounts. Payments to families with low income will be carried out under the current program of state social assistance to low-income families, the World Bank said.
The World Bank estimates that 60% of Ukrainian citizens who are on the brink of poverty due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are not yet recipients of social assistance under one of the existing social protection programs.
Head of the parliamentary committee on the health of the nation, medical care and health insurance Mykhailo Radutsky has named those who will be the first to be vaccinated against coronavirus in Ukraine for free.
“The first wave is doctors, the military, police. Doctors are mandatory. First of all, these are medical workers, these are the military, this is the police, this is the National Guard and the elderly from the risk group,” Radutsky said on the air of the Right to Power (Pravo na Vladu) program on 1 + 1 TV channel.
According to him, 4 million Ukrainians can already be vaccinated for free on COVAX.
In turn, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko said that as many as 25,000 people fell ill with coronavirus among law enforcement officers, of whom 78 people died.