Western Ukraine has been hit hard with 70 deaths in Ukraine (37 deaths in the Lviv region alone) attributed to the flue. Concern that the H1N1 and AH1N1 Swine Flue strains is on the increase throughout Europe.
Ukraine’s politicians are quick to make their mark in what appears to be a contest of who can out do the other in seeking media attention amidst concern that the Politicians may be fueling panic. The Heath Minister has asked Politicians to refrain from giving medical advise.
Ukraine has closed schools for one week, Yushchenko has officially asked for International help in the supply of Tamiflue medication and vaccines. Yulia Tymoshenko has ordered 2 million masks to be made by Ukraine’s prisoners. Tymoshenko has spent 50 million buying Tamiflu medication
Kyiv’s Mayor, Leonid Chernovetsky, has asked fans not to attend the Champions League football match between Dynamo Kyiv and Inter Milan to be held tomorrow (November 4). A big ask given that 90% of the tickets have already been sold and hotels and accommodation booked.
Public transport has taken steps to limit the spread of infections and boarder guards at the Ukrainian Romanian Boarder given strict instructions to vet and potential carries from Western Ukraine crossing the border.
Not to miss an opportunity to make a quick buck local drug stores reportedly have cashed in on the local demand for medication with Prime-minister Yulia Tymoshchenko threatening to seek criminal prosecution of drugstore owners taking avantage of the situation.
There is ongoing concern at the extent of rubbish that is left lying out inthe open streets, parkland and rivers catchments, a vast breedingground for viral infections.
The WHO (World Heath Organization) has sent in a team of experts to monitor the situation.
Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Lytvyn has said that the problem with the flu epidemic in Ukraine is being politicized. “The flu epidemic in our country will end after the presidential campaign,”
If the flue gets hold and more people become infected then there is a possibility that Yushchenko will call a state of emergency and it may effect the Presidential election campaign itself. Some say Yushchenko is itching to find any excuse to delay or cancel the elections so he can stay in office that little bit longer. It’s bad enough that Ukraine needs to come out and cast their vote in the middle of Ukraine’s winter but with the potential scare of contracting a virus whilst standing in line will not help Ukraine exercise its democratic rights. Ukraine was meant to have gone to the polls the weekend before last but Yushchenko objected to an October poll and forced Ukraine to hold a January election instead.
And the Harvard crimson considers the Ukrainian government’s response to H1N1 is excessive.
Ukraine’s best hope now is to pray for an early winter in hope that the virus will not survive Ukraine’s bitter cold winters. Everything looks good and clean when covered in snow.