Ukraine lacks leadership as coronavirus crisis escalates

08 Apr 2020

(Atlantic Council) As April began, the official number of coronavirus cases in Ukraine continued to rise slowly but surely. While several significant clusters have been identified, the overall outbreak has yet to mirror the scale of the crisis witnessed elsewhere in Europe. Nevertheless, forecasts for Ukraine remain grim, with many believing that a chronic lack of testing and widespread misdiagnosis of patients are combining to mask the true extent of the epidemic in the country.

Crucially, there is a sense that the Ukrainian authorities have failed to make use of the vital weeks at their disposal since the emergency began to unfold internationally during the first few months of 2020. Rather than address the material shortcomings of the Ukrainian healthcare system or put effective communications and social support mechanisms in place, the government has struggled to articulate an effective strategy and wasted time on political infighting. Nowhere is this chaotic approach more immediately apparent than at the Ministry of Health itself, which has seen two changes in minister in less than a month. [...]

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