Ukraine's doctors pushed to the limit by latest COVID-19 wave
As coronavirus infections hit Ukraine, a single shift for Dr. Oleksandr Molchanov now stretches to 42 hours — 24 of them in Kakhovka’s hospital, followed by another 18 hours spent visiting tents set up to care for 120 COVID-19 patients.
While vaccination rates in Eastern Europe have generally lagged, Ukraine has one of the lowest in the region. But because of its underfunded and struggling health care system, the situation has turned dire nearly two years since the virus swept into Europe.
The country is setting records almost every day for infections and deaths, most recently on Tuesday, when 838 deaths were reported.
“We are extinguishing the fire again. We are working as at the front, but our strength and capabilities are limited,” said Molchanov, who works at the hospital in the city in southern Ukraine on the Dnieper River. “We are working to the limit.”
After his grueling shift, the 32-year-old doctor goes home to sleep and recover for two days. The next one may be even more challenging.