Low testing rates in Ukraine could mean an undetected contagion

Low testing rates in Ukraine could mean an undetected contagion

WALL – Although the agenda of the world and Turkey has changed due to war and economic difficulties, Covid-19 still causes the death of people right next to us. According to current data, more than 6 million people died in the world, and more than 98 thousand people died in Turkey since the beginning of the pandemic.

While the world continues to fight against Covid -19, people who immigrated from Ukraine due to Russia’s operation to Ukraine are looking for safe living spaces. How far can Ukrainian refugees reach health services and vaccines in this search, which started in the shadow of the pandemic? Will people forced to immigrate from Ukraine cause a new wave of Covid-19? The World Health Organization (WHO) answered the questions of the newspaper Wall.


Reminding that countries are abolishing Covid-19 rules every day, WHO, where we asked the question ‘Is the epidemic coming to an end’, said, “The COVID-19 International Health Regulations Emergency Committee is examining the criteria for declaring the end of the public health emergency of international importance. As of now, we are not there yet.”

In a statement from WHO to Newspaper Wall, “Is the stage where we need to continue our efforts to stop this virus, to treat and vaccinate people, is it over? Not yet, and we are not going through a stage where we can step back and say ‘we can look at it like another virus’. No other virus kills 52 thousand people worldwide and millions of cases every week, to put it underestimated.


Stating that they do not want people to sit day and night and worry about what will happen with Covid-19, WHO said, “In this sense, people’s work is done, but governments, health systems, surveillance systems need to be on the alert.”

While WHO reminds us again that we need to monitor the virus, it says, “The only way to reach the desired point is with a high level of vaccination, continuous surveillance and good clinical management.”


The following statements were used from the WHO regarding how it will be possible to access the Covid-19 vaccine and health services for refugees from Ukraine:

“The Covid-19 epidemic is still here. It will not stop because of the conflict. The virus will only take advantage of the situation. The virus has been spreading very intensely for three years.

Low rates of COVID-19 testing since the start of the conflict means there is likely to be a significant undetected transmission. Combined with low vaccination coverage, this puts large numbers of people at risk of developing serious illness. Critical oxygen shortages will have an impact on the ability to treat patients with COVID-19 and many other diseases. The elderly will be disproportionately affected as their access to healthcare is disrupted, and only a third of those over 60 are fully protected by a full vaccine series.

The information we have is that all refugees entering Poland, Moldova and other EU countries will have full access to basic healthcare, including COVID-19 services. This includes access to the free COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, we have not received any indication that any refugee-hosting country is deficient in COVID-19 vaccines.”


According to WHO information, population displacement is a risk factor for disease: conflict-affected populations, both internally displaced and refugees, are at greater risk for a wide variety of communicable and non-communicable conditions. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death in Ukraine and communicable diseases are also a concern; Recent polio and measles outbreaks threaten child health, and the prevalence of HIV and TB/MDR-TB are among the highest in Europe.

Increased risk of communicable diseases (e.g. COVID-19, measles) due to aggravating factors such as displaced populations, closer and more intense social mixing, poor quality shelter, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) conditions and cold winter conditions and nutritional stress below.

The risk of noncommunicable disease (NCDs, eg hypertension, diabetes) increases due to the limited access of these populations to primary health care, particularly primary health care and medicines.

Exposure to stressors and traumatic events (violence, loss of loved ones, separation, loss of home, etc.) is expected to cause distress. In a humanitarian crisis, the prevalence of common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety more than doubles. Globally, it is estimated that one in five people living in conflict-affected areas over the past 10 years experience mental health problems.

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