Doctors in Ukraine pushed the border when the new COVID-19 wave spread across Europe

Such as Coronavirus Transition hits Ukraine, A shift for Dr. Oleksandr Molchanov has now spanned 42 hours – 24 of them at the hospital in Kakhovka, then another 18 hours spent in tents set up to care for 120 COVID-19 patients.

While vaccination rates in Eastern Europe generally lag behind, Ukraine has the lowest in the region. But because of its poorly funded and struggling healthcare system, the virus has been spreading in Europe for nearly two years, exacerbating the situation.

The country is setting records for infections and deaths almost every day, just Tuesday, when 838 deaths were reported.

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Medical staff treat coronavirus patients in a tent set up near a hospital in the city of Kakhov, Ukraine. (AP)

“We are fighting the fire again. We are working on the front lines, but our strength and capabilities are limited,” said Molchanov, who works at a city hospital in the Dnipropetrovsk River in southern Ukraine. “We are working on the border.”

After his drastic change, the 32-year-old doctor goes home to sleep and recovers for two days. Another may be more challenging.

“The situation is only getting worse,” Molchanov said. “The hospital bed is over, there are more and more critically ill patients, and there is a deep shortage of doctors and medical staff.”

There are 120 beds in the tents next to Kakhovka’s hospital, and 87 of them are occupied, with more patients coming in every day. But Molchanov is one of three doctors who care for them.

President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration inherited a health care system weakened by reforms introduced by his predecessors that closed many small town hospitals.

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Dr. Oleksandr Molchanov stands in the corridor after a short rest after performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the ICU of a hospital in Kakhovka, Kherson, Ukraine. (AP)

In those communities, people have to look for care in big cities. If the problem is so severe that the patient needs an ambulance, the wait can be up to eight hours.

“They are bringing patients to a very difficult situation, with a long form of COVID-19,” said Dr. Paul, who works at Pal Hospital. Anatoly Galachenko said. “The main reason is the inaccessibility of settlements and the inability to provide assistance in the early stages of the disease.”

Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister who leads the opposition Batkivschina party, said she had traveled to several hospitals in Ukraine and found scarcity everywhere.

“The death toll from COVID now recorded in Ukraine is not just the death toll; it is the government’s killing of people without oxygen, antiviral drugs, bedding and normally paid medical personnel,” she told parliament.

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Medical staff in protective gear transport a suspected elderly patient with COVID-19 in a wheelchair to Pal Hospital to care for coronavirus patients in Kakhovka, Ukraine. (AP)

“There are no more free beds in the country – a new patient comes to the bed of the discharged person immediately,” Timosenko added.

There are four coronavirus vaccines available in Ukraine: Pfizer-Bioentech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Synovac, but only 21 percent of its 41 million people have been fully vaccinated. According to the Ministry of Health, 96 percent of patients with severe covid-19 have not been vaccinated.

Zelensky has promised to pay 1,000 hryvnia ($ 52) to each fully vaccinated Ukrainian, about 5 percent of the average monthly wage, but widespread hesitation continues.

Physicians say vaccines are highly effective in preventing death and hospitalization, and when people who have been vaccinated show an infection, they are usually mild.

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New tombs have been discovered in the Kakhovka cemetery in the Kherson region of Ukraine. (AP)

Oleksandr Minatomov, who refused to be vaccinated, contracted the infection and was taken to Kakhovka’s Tent Hospital in the town of Rozdolne, about 20 kilometers away. Coupled with supplemental oxygen, he quoted various lies about the vaccine, saying it was “useless” and “people are still infected and sick.”

Doctors complain that the fact that vaccines contain microchips or that they cause infertility and disease is driving COVID-19 growth.

“People believe the most absurd rumors about the dangers of chips, infertility and vaccines. Older people in the risk group are more likely to refuse vaccinations, and this is very harmful and increases the burden on doctors,” Molchanov said. “People trust their neighbors more than doctors.”

The government has made it mandatory for teachers, doctors, government employees and other groups of workers to be fully vaccinated by December 1. For airplanes, trains and long-distance travel, vaccine or Covid-19 test results are required to prove negative. Buses.

The rules have created a black market for counterfeit vaccine documents, which sell for as much as 1 US100- $ US300 ($ 138- 14 414). The official digital app for smartphones is reportedly available, complete with fake certificates installed.

“COVID cannot be fooled with fake certificates, but many Ukrainians know about it only in intensive care,” Molchanov said.

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Dr. Oleksandr Molchanov speaking to the Associated Press at a hospital in Kakhovka, Ukraine. (AP)

The Ministry of Internal Affairs said that 1,200 groups have been sent across Ukraine to verify the authenticity of medical documents. Police have identified several printers for making fake certificates.

Doctors say that fake certificates make it difficult to work.

“We are working on the border, but we are tired of fighting not only disease but also stupidity,” Molchanov said.

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