Vitali KLITSCHKO: “IN Kiev, we avoided the Italian or Spanish scenario”

The mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, former world Boxing champion, spoke about the situation with coronavirus in the capital of Ukraine and its contribution to the fight against the pandemic:

“You know, Wuhan is one of the sister cities of Kiev. We contacted the experts there, and they kindly shared their experiences and practices, which helped us to contain the spread of the virus. They also provided recommendations on how doctors and nurses are at high risk of infection can remain protected and safe.

We used their recommendations in the decision-making process related to the coronavirus. I also asked the opinion of the Chairman of the Berlin Robert Koch Institute. I am sure that sooner introduced severe restrictions saves us time when we needed to stop the spread of the disease. The situation is still stable, and we are escaped Italian or Spanish scenario for Kiev.

The responsibility is huge. We’re talking about the health and lives of millions of people. As mayor of the capital of Ukraine, every day I face many challenges. Now Kiev is under strict quarantine, and it means that I face a brand new and most urgent problems which I never encountered before. And I’m doing everything possible to stop the spread of the virus and protect the people of Kiev. I use all available tools, best practices from other cities and countries. Now we are all working nonstop, 24 hours a day, and I almost live in my office.

The will to win, persistence in the face of many difficulties, the willingness to fight hard equally important in the public service and in sport. I continue to learn, we can say, every day. I’m not shy to ask for advice and learn something new. It’s a challenge to take strong decisions in the face of the pandemic. For difficult decisions there are economic losses of small and medium business, low level of welfare of ordinary people, the reduction of many municipal projects, violation of normal life and the frustration of residents.

As the mayor of Kiev, who is responsible for the welfare of the city, I have to report a complete picture of what is happening, our response to stop the outbreak and the whole scale of the threat faced by Kiev. That’s why every day I spend online briefing. The present situation is not about someone’s popularity or image. This is not a joke. It is a question of health and life of people. Tough times require tough decisions. My main priority is that Kiev overcomes the difficulties with minimal damage. We will restore the economy, but no one will be able to resurrect people.

Nobody could predict the huge human and economic losses for all countries. Even the most well-developed public health system, such as system in the United States, can not cope with the growing number of patients in critical condition. No one can predict how a pandemic will progress. But I think that it is possible to reduce the risk of a pandemic. And a lot of it depends on our actions. Simple things like washing hands, sitting at home and early and seek medical help, can save lives.

Every day I turn to Kiev and the Ukrainians. All I say to them, you can tell people all over the world. Take care of yourself, follow the rules limitations. It is a question of your health and life, as well as the health and lives of your loved ones. The important thing is that we all can and should do now is to prevent the surge of the infection, which will lead to the collapse of public health. The solution is simple, yet complex: to stay at home means stay safe.

Speaking globally, I want to warn against a situation where countries have to deal with the coronavirus. We should help and support each other, to work together to overcome this crisis. The virus is indifferent to the color of your skin, race or religion. It is a global threat, against which we must resist. The study of excellence, mutual support and joint efforts are essential today. In this new reality, we must find new ways to support each other despite the closed border and distancing”.

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