The Project “Ask The Doctor” of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation: are there prerequisites for a new wave of COVID-19 in Ukraine?

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation through its “Ask The Doctor” project continues to inform Ukrainians about the prevention and treatment of coronavirus. Live broadcast experts, the country’s leading healthcare professionals with vast experience, answer audience’s questions and talk about the latest discoveries and trends in the fight against the pandemic.

Tetyana Chumachenko, holder of Habilitation degree in Medicine, Professor, Head of Epidemiology Department of Kharkiv National Medical University, became the expert of the 60th online broadcast of the project.

According to the doctor, there are now all the prerequisites for a new wave of coronavirus to start in Ukraine.

“Firstly, this is due to the fact that the long holidays are over, and consequently the number of sources of infection has increased. Secondly, the rapid spread of a new Omicron coronavirus strain, which fortunately is not yet dominant in Ukraine, is contributing to this. Thirdly, people still do not observe either the rules of wearing personal protective equipment or the rules of social distance,” Tetyana Chumachenko said.

The epidemiologist, however, spoke about the peculiarities of the Omicron strain.

“This variant of coronavirus spreads faster and also has a shorter incubation period than the preceding strains. It primarily affects the upper respiratory tract, while it does not cause such a severe run of the disease in vaccinated people,” said the doctor.

The specialist emphasised that there are now discussions in the international scientific community about the inclusion of long-term and chronic COVID to the ICD (International Classification of Diseases).

“There are already many publications on the subject. Research suggests that one in two adults has post-COVID syndrome or long-COVID syndrome. To date, the issue of an additional nosological form, chronic COVID-19, is being considered,” said the Professor.

Tetyana Chumachenko also emphasised on the importance of vaccination.

“Humanity has not invented anything better than vaccination for aerosol-transmissible infections. Vaccination is therefore currently the most effective and safest means to either drastically reduce the number of infections or get rid of the disease.”

Since the start of the broadcasting of “Ask the Doctor” on digital platforms of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, the content of the project has been watched more than 21 million times. Previously, experts of live broadcasts were such renowned experts as Boris Todurov, famous cardiac surgeon; Yekaterina Amosova, cardiologist, corresponding member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine and member of the European Society of Cardiology; Oleg Chaban, psychiatrist, holder of Habilitation degree in Medicine and Professor; Sergey Dubrov, president of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Ukraine, etc.

“Ask the Doctor” is a part of the “Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” project. In total, Rinat Akhmetov allocated about UAH 500 million to fight the coronavirus. As a result, the Foundation has helped 1.5 million people to survive. You can watch videos of broadcasts with experienced practitioners on the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s Facebook page, as well as on YouTube.