Kyiv, January 26, 2016. As of today, we have 83 confirmed deaths because of the flu. The total number of people who were infected with influenza virus in Ukraine is 2.6 million. Over the last week 363,000 people fell ill, said Oleksandr Kvitashvili, Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. According to him, the epidemic threshold is exceeded in 18 regions, in 11 of them – by 50%. “The highest level is in Rivne region, the lowest – in Kharkiv. The epidemic threshold is not exceeded in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Zakarpattia, Odesa, Mykolayiv and Kharkiv regions. In Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsia, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Kherson and Zaporizhia it is exceeded by 50% and in Kyiv, Lutsk, Rivne, Ternopil, Chernivtsi, Sumy, Poltava, Kirovohrad, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, and Luhansk the epidemiological threshold is exceeded by more than 50%. There is a flu epidemic in the country,” said Mr. Kvitashvili. Today, the Ministry of Healthcare is going to hold a staff meeting on this matter. Stocks of medicines are sufficient, says the Minister. “Lithuania donated 2,000 doses of “Tamiflu” and 27 thousand doses of “Relenza”. They are already in Ukraine, have gone through customs clearance procedures and are arriving in Kyiv. They will be distributed among the regions that need them most,” said the Minister.
Lyubov Nekrasova, Director of Ukrainian Center for Control and Monitoring Diseases at the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine, said that the incidence of flu intensively increases. “The load on hospitals is growing, and more patients are coming because of strong awareness of the need to visit a doctor in the first hours of the disease,” noted Ms. Nekrasova. Over the period between October 1 and January 18, seven deaths were recorded in Kyiv, 26 in Odesa region, 10 in Vinnytsia, one in Volyn, three in Donetsk, one in Zhytomyr, five in Zaporizhia, two in Kirovohrad, three in Lviv, one in Mykolayiv, one in Poltava, six in Rivne, two in Sumy, one in Ternopil, four in Kharkiv, three in Kherson, five in Cherkasy, one in Chernivtsi and one in Chernihiv, said Ms. Nekrasova. “Almost all the victims belong to vulnerable groups. Today these are children from 0 to 5 years, pregnant women, and people suffering from endocrine diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, asthma and other respiratory diseases group. And people over 65 years old,” said Ms. Nekrasova.
Svyatoslav Protas, Acting Head of the State Sanitary Epidemiological Service of Ukraine, Acting Chief State Epidemiologist of Ukraine, noted the rapid increase in the number of calls for medical help. He also noted the decrease in amount of people who visit doctors at late stages of illness. Mr. Protas said that excess of epidemiological threshold by half is recorded on the territory of 45 cities and 131 rural areas. “In order to respond to this situation, more than 9.5 thousand schools stopped teaching as of today. But thousands of schools are restoring the learning process in those areas where due measures were introduced from the beginning,” said Mr. Protas.