588 new patients per day. Is Ukraine in a rush to “soften” quarantine?
We have a strange “plateau” – with “pits and mounds”. And they say there will be more patients with COVID-19 in the fall, and the current numbers are related to test issues
Recently, the World Health Organization announced the stabilization of the number of new cases of coronavirus in Ukraine. “In some countries, we are seeing a gradual stabilization or a decrease in the number of new cases (COVID-19. – Ed.). Russia and Ukraine are embarking on this path, ”said Hans Kluge, director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. But the fact is that Ukraine has maintained this incidence plateau since mid-May. The number of cases detected per day from Monday to Tuesday is slightly reduced – it fluctuates at the level of 350 cases, and on other days – at the level of 400-500. On June 4, this figure has generally skyrocketed – to 588. And while in Europe the incidence of COVID-19 is already declining (for example, neighboring Poland), the question arises more often – why l Ukraine still lacks a positive dynamic, but continues to cling to this uneven plateau?
Reason: diagnostic nuances and non-compliance with quarantine
A recent study by the World Data Center “Geoinformatics and sustainable development” within the framework of the KPI Igor Sikorsky predicts how the situation with the incidence of COVID-19 will evolve in Ukraine in the future. According to scientists, the growth of new patients will remain in the plateau until the end of the month, and the extinction of the pandemic will be slow and monotonous. If the circumstances are favorable, then in July, scientists predict a more than double decline in incidence. Why has the second phase of COVID-19 distribution in Ukraine been so long? Scientists believe that the reason is poor citizens’ quarantine, neglect during spring religious festivals and the insufficient quality of medicines in the country.
In part, the immunologist, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Pediatric Immunology, NMAPE, named after P.L. Shupika Fedor Lapiy. He says that the purpose of the restrictions was mainly to achieve the plateau effect. “Despite the fact that many Ukrainians understand the danger and how to stop the spread of the infection and fulfill their obligations, at the same time, many disregard the rules. Unlike, say, the Swedes. Why were they not introduced so strictly quarantine measures? They understand perfectly that most citizens understand and implement government recommendations. We can also take Germany and some other countries as an example. These moments, of course, affect outbreaks of the disease, “says the immunologist.
But all is not so simple. Fedor Lapiy added that certain points linked to difficulties in laboratory diagnosis should not be overlooked. “It is no secret that the samples taken to test for the presence of coronavirus are not processed for a certain time. This is because the laboratories are responsible and determine the priority of the sample to be used First of all, of course, they look at samples of patients who have symptoms that are expressed, these samples add up and generally fall into the statistics not on the day of collection, but on the day of receipt of the results. The delay is more than a week, which affects the accuracy of the statistics, “notes the specialist.
He also added that in Ukraine, the order of the Ministry of Health approved changes to the diagnosis, according to which an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was introduced to establish a diagnosis. “There is enough evidence today that in conditions of low prevalence of infection, test systems can give false positive results. If now we see the effect of a plateau or even some growth, then the question arises – we are talking about cases confirmed by the PCR method, or for them cases confirmed by the ELISA method have also been added in. Such laboratory nuances can occur in the figures which are reflected by the Ministry After all, if a person confirms the presence of antibodies, it means that they might have been sick a month ago. And because of that, the increased incidence may be a false positive. ” – suggests Lapiy.
There are still not enough active people who have been sick with us to leave “from the plateau”
The head of the respiratory and other viral infections department of the Gromashevsky Institute for Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, virologist Alla Mironenko, in a recent interview with New Times, said that the long incubation period of the disease and erased forms of the disease do not give us hope that SARS-CoV-coronavirus 2 can be eradicated in one way or another. In other words, it is with humanity, as they say, already until the end of days, like the seasonal flu.
In a comment on Ukrinform, answering a question about the reasons for the extended shelf, she says that too few people have been sick in Ukraine, so many infected people are still to come. “When there was strict quarantine and everyone was at home, there was no mass transfer. There were many doctors who were not properly protected and infected from the sick. We hope there will be fewer patients in the summer, because when everything is in the fresh air, there is a lot of sun and open the windows, then there is less chance of being infected. schoolchildren and students do not go to school. When it gets cold again and there are more people on the premises, the risk of infection increases. I think we will have more in the fall. we will only leave this plateau when a significant part of the population is sick, and before that, we are still very far “, said Alla Mironenko.
Semyon Yesilevsky, biophysicist, specialist in molecular dynamics, leading researcher at the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, in his column on the “medium”, suggests that the virus is mainly spread among the socially active layer (people who still have no pronounced symptoms are called super-distributors. – Ed.) Active people also infect dozens and hundreds of similar active people, as well as some couch potatoes. “Consequently, an epidemic subsides not when 70% of the whole population is sick, but when 70% of socially overactive people are sick. Using, in the roughest approximation, the empirical law of Pareto (“80 to 20 rule”), we can say that in society 20% of socially active people, who represent 80% of patients, 70% of 20% of the population and there will be something like 10-15 “% of the” immune system “in society (ie those who have developed immunity – ND) of the entire population. This is what is observed in population studies.” He also writes that we do not know what will be the situation in Ukraine after the removal of restrictive measures, because we have not conducted population studies for antibodies, so it is not known how many people are immunized and how they are distributed among social groups. “If 70% of socially active people have not managed to get sick with us, then in summer there will be a peak of the second wave. If they do, then there could not be a second peak”, writes Esilevsky and adds that the only thing left for us is to observe the precautionary measures.
What is the situation in Ukraine with similar and not similar neighboring Russia and Poland?
In the past two weeks, Russia has also reached a plateau, where the number of infected people first climbed to 11,000, and it now stands at an average of 9,000 infected people per day. To date, 441,108 cases have been recorded there. Why is it interesting for us? Because the health and outbreak response systems in our country have so far been very similar. There, a prolonged plateau is also explained by the ineffectiveness of anti-epidemic measures. For example, said RBC medical doctor, virologist Anatoly Altstein: “I don’t know why [статистика] maintained at approximately the same level. Perhaps the role is that the diagnosis improves. But it is not very likely. Most likely, anti-epidemic measures are not working well. “
Larisa Popovich, director of the Institute of Health at the Higher School of Economics, believes that Russia’s long presence on the plateau may be due to the fact that the chain of infection has not been completely interrupted in Russia . “The rhythm of the epidemic process of respiratory infections depends strongly on the degree of chain interruption. We did not have quarantine as such, there was an imitation of quarantine. And the chain was not completely interrupted, such as, for example, in Italy, China, Austria. We were frivolous about it, so we have a slow burning process. And since the coronavirus, unfortunately, is not afraid of hot weather (and we do not have hot weather), it burns naturally in our country, “she said.
Poland and Ukraine fell ill almost simultaneously
But Poland is interesting in that, in terms of incidence rate, it comes from Ukraine, as we say, foot by foot. The first case of coronavirus infection in Poland became known on March 4. In Ukraine – March 3, that is, almost simultaneously. Almost as many people are infected with it as in Ukraine. By June 4, the number of infected coronaviruses in Poland had increased to 24,826 people, in Ukraine – to 25,411. But in the last day in Poland, only 139 new cases have been detected, while in Ukraine – 588 In addition, in Poland 996,604 tests, three times more than in Ukraine – 392,316. And now Poland is in the fourth stage of the relaxation of quarantine measures, in particular the obligation to wear a mask in the street, the restriction on the number of customers in stores is canceled. How Poland succeeded in achieving this goal – it is this experience of Ukraine that is being studied more now, said chief medical officer of health Viktor Lyashko in an interview with Radio Liberty. We hope that this case will really be transferred to our medical system and to our mentality.
Julia Gorban, Kiev
According to the materials: ukrinform.ru