Project Ask the Doctor of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation: Epidemiologist Explains How to Avoid Infection Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation and Ukraine TV channel continue the series of online broadcasts with healthcare experts who answer the audience’s questions about COVID-19. This time the guest of the live broadcast was Tetiana Chumachenko, a Doctor of Medical Sciences, a professor and the Head of the Epidemiology Department of Kharkiv National Medical University.
The doctor urged the audience not to neglect the current quarantine restrictions and wear masks in the street, as stipulated by the rules for residents of the "red zone".
‘When it comes to the fact that a certain distance must be observed, people say that the distance is enough for them and take off their masks, but they should cover their faces. In addition, such measures should be controlled because not all people understand that a mask is a barrier for the virus, or, conversely, if a person is infected and is without a mask, then the virus begins to look for a new owner once entering the surrounding environment,’ said the expert.
Tetiana Chumachenko commented on the forecast of the National Academy of Sciences, which warns that by mid-April the number of patients in Ukraine will grow to a record high of 20,000 per day. She also said that three more types of vaccine against COVID-19 are expected in the near future, which should significantly reduce the rate of the disease spread.
‘If there is such a pessimistic forecast, it is in fact made with the intention not to see it come true. This means that urgent steps need to be taken: to limit communications, to increase social distancing. If possible, to increase the rate of vaccination, which is now slightly lower than planned. The Chinese Sinovac vaccine is still to be delivered to Ukraine. It differs in terms of its production technology. Then we expect Pfizer and Novavax mRNA vaccines that are protein vaccines,’ the doctor said.
The epidemiologist reassured Ukrainians who had concerns that they could contract the coronavirus during vaccinations: all the provided vaccines do not contain live viruses, but only their particles. Therefore, the killed virus cannot live and infect the human body. At the same time, when asked about when the spread of the coronavirus will come to its end, the doctor replied as follows:
‘The COVID-19 pandemic will end when everyone understands that the fate of humanity depends on each of us because even one infected person who is not isolated and without a mask can infect others. If our people do not want to be vaccinated, this means they will get sick, they will get immunity naturally, but they will also help the virus gain its strength. And then even those who have been vaccinated will contract the disease,’ Tetiana Chumachenko summed up.
Live broadcasts with participation of healthcare experts can be watched on the pages of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation in Facebook and YouTube. Ask the Doctor initiative is being implemented within the framework of the project Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine. This is the largest, most systematic and widest scale private initiative aimed at helping public healthcare facilities in the fight against the coronavirus. Within the framework of the project, the Foundation donated more than 200,000 units of personal protective equipment and consumables, 337,000 rapid COVID-19 tests and more than 200 ultra-modern lung ventilators.