More than two months have passed since the war began, but with every passing day, more and more Ukrainian cities are witnessing the destruction and horrors of the war.
Civilians and evacuees both are dying every day. Those lucky to save their lives are compelled to cross the borders to take asylum in the refugee camps.
War provides an ideal condition for contagious diseases to spread like a forest fire. People are forced to leave their homes and take shelter in crowded places to save their lives without any healthcare facilities.
Those who have to flee their homes have to take shelter in crowded places with no scope for social distancing. When the people cross the borders, they are taken to the Medical Reception Centers set up by the Polish and the Romanian governments.
Dr. Vijai Bhola, one of the physicians from the US who volunteered to help the people in these reception centers, says that every day thousands of people reach the reception centers, and there is no such thing as COVID appropriate behavior at these medical reception centers.
People are in such shock and trauma that you can’t tell them to wear a mask when they have run for their lives from the bombs and missiles, says Dr. Bhola.
Ukraine is one of the most affected countries by the COVID pandemic in the eastern-Europe. While most nations of Europe and the Americas witnessed the omicron peak in January, Ukraine, on the other hand, showed a peak around 20th February, right before the war started, Dr. Bhola says.
Ukraine’s population is roughly around 40 million. Before the war began, only 34 percent of the total Ukrainian population was fully vaccinated. This figure itself is enough to show how vulnerable people are to get the COVID.
Also, during times like these, war victims become the top priority in the healthcare centers. Moreover, the agencies can’t track COVID-positive people as people are fleeing wherever they can to save their lives.
In the medical reception centers, the refugees stay for a couple of days, and then they are taken to other countries like France, Germany, Italy, and other western nations. Most of these people are potential COVID-positive, and when they travel to other places, they may spread the infection.
Many countries lifted the mask mandates after the omicron wave faded in February. But since the refugees have started to enter other nations, the COVID cases have again started to rise.
The World Health Organization released a statement last month that to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the war must be stopped with immediate effect. This is indeed quite an idealistic statement by the organization.