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Project Ask the Doctor of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation: How Dangerous Are New Strains of Coronavirus


The project Ask the Doctor of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation continues to share information about the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Healthcare experts discuss the situation around the spread of the disease, as well as give recommendations and answer questions from viewers. Almost 11 million people have watched the project on the Foundation’s digital platforms.

Viktor Petrov, an infectious disease doctor and therapist, spoke about the danger of the new coronavirus strains coming to Ukraine, as well as about health improvement practices in the summer and the immune system reinforcement. The doctor warned the audience about the threats of the coronavirus delta variant, which affects people in neighbouring countries.

‘There are no sanitary barriers to the penetration of mutated viruses circulating in Russia now. Their migration can lead to the situation that in 3-4 days the delta variant of the coronavirus may appear in such large Ukrainian cities as Kyiv or Kharkiv. It is more contagious. While earlier the reproduction number of the virus was 2-3 points, now it is 5-6. In addition, 35+ years old people are more likely to get infected with the delta variant, and they can have much harder forms of the disease, including damage to the upper lungs,’ said doctor Petrov.

For those people who are going on summer vacation amid the pandemic, the infectious disease specialist advised to follow the rules that would preserve the immune system and help avoid contraction of the disease.

‘Keep in mind that staying in direct sunlight reduces your immunity. Especially if you travel to Egypt, Tanzania or the African continent, remember that you should not go out to sunbathe during the active sun. In addition, from these countries you can bring COVID-19 mutations characterized by gastrointestinal manifestations.’

Viewers enquired whether they could be vaccinated against the coronavirus if they signed their health declarations with a doctor in a private clinic. Viktor Petrov explained that mass vaccination is available only in public healthcare facilities – this is 55+ years old citizens, servicemen, doctors, and teachers.

‘In very rare cases, perhaps through some personal connections, private clinics manage to get the vaccine. At the same time, mobile vaccination points outside hospitals do not have the right to refuse to vaccinate people registered with a private doctor. If you wait in a long line today, then it will be much easier to get the second dose later. Most likely, in some 5-6 months we will be looking for someone to vaccinate, as most of the citizens will be vaccinated.’

The project Ask the Doctor is a weekly online meeting with doctors who talk about the symptoms of the coronavirus, the nutritional preferences for patients, the latest global trends in the treatment of COVID-19, and many more topics. Earlier, answers to the viewers’ questions asked during the program broadcasts were given by such leading healthcare experts as Kateryna Amosova, a cardiologist, an associate member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, a member of the European Society of Cardiology; Yevhen Komarovskyi, a famous paediatrician of the country; Serhiy Komisarenko, a biochemist and researcher; Oleksandr Zaika, an immunologist of the Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health; Oleh Chaban, a psychiatrist, a Doctor of Medical Sciences, a professor; Serhiy Dubrov, the President of the Association of Anaesthesiologists of Ukraine, and other experts.

The recordings of the program’s previous broadcasts are available for watching on the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.