On Wednesday, April 1, government authorities issued a decree announcing additional domestic restrictive measures to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Individuals are now required to wear masks in public spaces. In addition, the movement of more than two people is now prohibited with the exception for 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, except for walking pets, is forbidden. Gatherings of more than ten people are also prohibited. Nationwide restrictive measures were previously implemented on Monday, March 16, which 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. The restrictions will remain in effect until Friday, April 24.
The government added that certain restrictive measures may be introduced by local authorities at any time. Also, a decree should be published in the coming days, which will look to advise self-isolation for individuals at risk over 60 years of age.
On Thursday, March 26, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine's border would be closed, and all passenger transportation would be suspended starting on Friday, March 27. 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 Friday, April 3, there are 897 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ukraine, including 22 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus 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.