Around 300 local farmers gathered in Kherson (Kherson province) on Sunday, April 26, to protest restrictive measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The farmers are aggrieved by the closure of markets which are denying them the opportunity to sell their produce. Under the measures imposed, only one market has remained open in the region, and many of the goods sold at this market are imported into the area. The farmers blocked the Antonovsky bridge at the entrance to Kherson and threw cucumbers onto the highway. Around 70 police officers were deployed to the area in response to the protest. Further protests are possible in the region over the near term.
On Wednesday, April 22, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal extended the quarantine measures in Ukraine until Monday, May 11, amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals are required to wear masks in public spaces. In addition, the movement of more than two people is prohibited, with the exception of emergencies or for accompanying children. Those under the age of 16 are not allowed to leave their homes without an adult, and visiting public parks and gardens, recreation areas, forest parks, and coastal areas is forbidden, except when walking pets. Gatherings of more than ten people are also prohibited. Nationwide restrictive measures that were implemented on Monday, March 16, state that all nonessential businesses are to remain closed and domestic transportation suspended. Grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banking institutions, and insurance companies will, however, continue to provide service nationwide.
On Thursday, March 26, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine's border would be closed. All foreign nationals continue to be barred from entering the country. According to Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, Ukrainian citizens can still return to the country, but may be subject to "observation procedures" and self-quarantine.
As of April 26, there are at least 8617 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ukraine, including 209 associated fatalities. Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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