After the Indian delta strain of coronavirus was identified in Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) outlined a number of measures to combat it, and the Cabinet of Ministers imposed mandatory testing for those who come from risk countries.
The NSDC made the decision on new measures at a meeting on June 23, the press service of the Council reports. The NSDC also added that the "delta" can get to Ukraine from India, Great Britain, Portugal, Russia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, where it is now actively circulating.
NSDC measures to combat the delta strain in Ukraine
The Council has taken a number of the following measures:
- accelerating the pace of vaccination and its availability, especially for those aged over 60;
- intensification of the awareness-raising work among the population about the need for immunization and the use of personal protective equipment;
- strengthening of the laboratory component for the detection of the "delta" strain;
- improving medical protocols;
- enhancing the preparedness of medical institutions to provide care to patients with coronavirus;
- maximum immunization of medical personnel.
According to Mykhailo Radutsky, the head of the parliamentary Committee on Public Health, Medical Assistance and Medical Insurance, measures such as mandatory PCR testing for those who come to Ukraine from India, Britain, Portugal, Russia, and Belarus (if necessary, the list can be expanded); mandatory PCR testing at checkpoints in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as on the administrative border with the occupied Crimea; drafting by the Ministry of Health of a clear algorithm for operational strengthening of quarantine by local authorities; strengthening epidemiological surveillance and tracing contacts of infected persons, as well as increasing police control over quarantine restrictions observance.
At the same time, the Cabinet of Ministers has already obliged those who come from India, Great Britain, the Russian Federation, and Portugal to do express testing at border checkpoints. This should be done from June 25, the press service of the Ministry of Health reports. And the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended that Ukrainians refrain from traveling to these countries until the epidemic situation is completely stabilized.
Delta strain in Europe
So far, the delta strain has been found in at least 92 countries. According to the forecast of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, this variant of coronavirus may account for 70% of new infections by August 2021, and even 90% by September.
According to Andrea Ammon, the director of the center, "delta" will circulate widely during the summer, and in particular among young people who are not yet vaccinated.
"The delta strain is more contagious than the rest of the circulating variants, and we estimate that it will account for 90% of all new infections at the end of August," the director noted.
In Europe, the strain has already begun to actively spread. The situation requires special attention not only in Britain and Portugal—over the past week, the number of patients with the new strain has at least doubled in Germany, Interfax-Ukraine reports. For instance, according to the Robert Koch Institute, if on June 18 the strain accounted for about 6% of the total number of diseases, now it is up to 15%.
France is not far behind, where, according to government spokesperson Gabriel Attal, the strain is gradually spreading. If last week the number of infections with the strain was 2-4%, now it is already 9-10%.
Context. Recently the delta strain of the coronavirus was recorded in Ukraine in two visitors from Russia. The World Health Organization called it potentially the most deadly variant.