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Covid-19: As Ukrainians resist Russia’s gratuitous invasion, the virus is complicating the picture

“Anytime you disrupt society like this and literally move millions of people, infectious diseases exploit that,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, director of the Medical Emergencies Program WHO, said last week. “People get together, they’re stressed, and they don’t eat, they don’t sleep properly. They’re very vulnerable… And there’s a greater chance the disease will spread.”

In the midst of the skirmish, WHO officials have noted a “remarkable” continuity of reporting Covid-19 cases and deaths, but “are also seeing severe stress being raised”. put on those systems,” said Dr. Catherine Smallwood, senior emergency official at WHO at a press conference Tuesday. Ukraine reported 40,265 new cases and 758 deaths last week, down sharply from the previous week’s figure of 111,224 cases and 1,363 deaths, according to WHO data. The country has the lowest vaccination rate in the region, with 34 out of 100 people having received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine, WHO data shows.

Russian attacks are increasingly targeting urban areas and Covid-19, understandably, is not a priority as civilians try to keep themselves and their families safe. “People don’t seek care because they’re afraid of the security situation; healthcare workers can’t come to their workplace, because they’re worried about their own security and (are) taking significant risks amazed,” Smallwood added.

Attacks on healthcare services, including hospitals and other facilities, have increased since the start of the invasion, with 16 confirmed reports and many more currently being reported. verified, Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, say Tuesday. The country is also suffering from a severe lack of oxygen, exacerbated by the closure of at least three major oxygen plants. The WHO has already sent 500 oxygen concentrators to Ukraine, but Kluge warned that Covid-related deaths “will increase as the hypoxia continues”, with older people “insignificantly affected”. when their access to health care is disrupted.”

As refugees move to neighboring countries, public health officials are begging those countries to cater to the complex health needs of Ukrainians fleeing, including from mental health services. God comes to protect from infectious diseases like Covid-19. Those neighboring countries’ health ministries “assured me that there was no shortage of a Covid-19 vaccine,” Kluge said.

Overall, Kluge said, Covid-19 cases are falling in Europe, but the war is changing the picture. He added: “It is with my deepest sadness to see my region emerging from two years of terrible pandemic, now facing the devastating impact of hostile acts. military adversary against tens of millions of people in Ukraine and beyond.

YOU ASKED. WE HAVE ANSWERED.

Q: Should people take off their masks and not be required to wear them?

A: Just because masking duty can be lifted in your area doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear a mask, Dr. Leana Wen, CNN Medical Analyst said.

“You should still wear a mask, especially if you’re in crowded, poorly ventilated places. This is especially important if you’re immunocompromised or have chronic medical conditions that could make you more likely to get sick. serious outcome if infected with Covid-19,” added Wen. “Others should decide based on how much they want to avoid contracting Covid-19 and the importance of being disclosed.”

Submit your question here. Are you a healthcare worker battling Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

READING OF THE WEEK

Women in the world’s richest countries feel let down by their governments after the pandemic

More than 60% of women in G7 countries, on average, whose lives have been altered by the Covid-19 pandemic, say their governments are not giving them much support to deal with the changes, according to a new poll by the World Health Organization. CNN.

These findings come against the backdrop of numerous studies showing that women are more severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic than men, and are committed to rebuilding the better offering of world leaders. Reporting by Ariel Edwards-Levy, Pallabi Munsi and Claire Manibog.

The CNN survey found that although both men and women in G7 countries, who have experienced disruptions in their lives due to the pandemic, feel they are largely unsupported by the government, their sentiment of women is more obvious.

None of these seven countries reported a majority of women saying they received as much or more of the support they needed.

Hong Kong faces a ‘preventable disaster’ after betting on Covid zero. In Europe, Austria abandons vaccination mission

Hong Kong – once hailed as the success story of zero-Covid – is now fighting a deadly outbreak reminiscent of of the early days of the pandemic, despite more than two years of preparation.

As cases surged this year, with locally transmitted cases surging to 312,000 in the past two weeks, the government has re-imposed its strictest rules, limiting public gatherings in two-person level, closing restaurants and bars after 6 p.m. and tearing down public playgrounds.

But it’s still not enough. With some other levers to pull, the government plans to launch a mandatory batch of mass testing, in an attempt to purge the city of Covid.

Meanwhile Austria, which passed Europe’s toughest vaccine regulations in February, is suspending its vaccine mandate six days before the fines are enforced, Reuters report. “Why? Because there are compelling arguments at the moment that the violation of fundamental rights is unjustifiable,” Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler told a news conference on Wednesday.

Study links even mild Covid-19 to changes in the brain

People with even a mild case of Covid-19 may have accelerated brain aging and other changes to it, according to a new study.

It found that the brains of people who had been infected with Covid-19 had more gray matter and abnormalities in brain tissue than those who were not infected. Many of these changes are in the region of the brain involved in the sense of smell, Nadia Kounang reports.

Normally people lose 0.2% to 0.3% gray matter per year in memory-related areas of the brain as they age, but research shows that people who have been infected with coronavirus lose 0.2 more % to 2. % tissue compared to those without.

TOP TIPS

Here’s how to get free antiviral medication if you test positive for Covid-19

The US government’s pilot program to treat Covid-19 is underway, with pharmacy clinics ordering shipments of Covid-19 antiviral drugs, and some locations expected to supply them. provide this service within the next few days.

The Covid-19 antiviral drugs Paxlovid and molnupiravir have been made freely available in the United States, but quick access can be a challenge for some.

Here’s what you need to know about buying Covid-19 drugs that you can do at home through an experimental treatment program.

TODAY’S PODCAST

It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone, and people are feeling more exhausted than ever. This week on Chasing Life, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, explores how we should rethink our relationship with work. Plus, hear how monks in New Mexico learned the secret to work-life balance. Listen to me.

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