WHO warns that Russian invasion of its neighbour cause a surge in COVID-19 cases

WHO warns that Russia’s invasion of its neighbour cause a surge in COVID-19 cases, both in Ukraine and across the region.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that trucks are unable to transport oxygen from plants to hospitals around Ukraine. The country has an estimated 1,700 COVID patients in hospital who will probably need oxygen treatment, and there are reports of some hospitals already running out of oxygen.

As Russia invaded, the WHO warned that Ukrainian hospitals could run out of oxygen supplies in 24 hours, putting thousands more lives at risk. The WHO is working with partners to transport urgent shipments through Poland. If the worst was to happen and there was a national oxygen shortage, this would not only have an impact on those sick with COVID but multiple other health conditions as well.

As the war rages on, there will be a threat to the supply of electricity and power and even clean water to hospitals. It is often said that in war there are no winners, but it is clear that disease and illness stand to benefit from human conflict. Coordination amongst international aid organisations will now be key to keeping essential health services going as the crisis deepens.

Organisations such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF), already in Ukraine working on other projects, say they are now mobilising a general emergency-preparedness response to be ready for potential needs and are working on medical kits for rapid dispatch. The British Red Cross is also in the country, supporting healthcare facilities with medicines and medical equipment as well as providing clean water and helping rebuild the country’s infrastructure.

Efforts should be put into vaccinating refugees as they arrive in surrounding countries. But equally important will be the international diplomatic efforts needed to end the war so healthcare systems can rebuild and get back to treating those in need.

Post time: Apr-26-2022