The World Health Organization expects the wave of COVID-19 in Ukraine to peak in October, which could push hospitals close to capacity, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.
“We are now seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Ukraine. We estimate that transmission may peak in early October and hospitals may be approaching their capacity threshold”said Ghebreyesus at the conference of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, held in Tel Aviv.
“A shortage of oxygen is expected because the main sources of supply are in the occupied parts of the country”he said.
Oxygen is essential for patients with a range of conditions, including COVID-19 and for those with other critical illnesses arising from complications of pregnancy, birth, sepsis, etc.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February had a major impact on healthcare, with the WHO confirming over 500 attacks on healthcare infrastructure in this country, resulting in approximately 100 deaths.
Ghebreyesus said the war could increase the spread of polio.
“We are also deeply concerned about the potential for international spread of polio due to deficiencies in vaccine coverage and massive war-related population movements.”he said.
Ukraine has low vaccination coverage for both COVID and polio, an infectious disease that mainly affects children and can paralyze and kill in rare cases.
Two cases of polio were reported in Ukraine in 2021.
This year, Israel, Britain and the US have reported cases of polio transmission in major cities, raising concerns about the wider spread of the infection.
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