Arsen Avakov: the curve of virus spread in Ukraine today is one of the most acceptable in Europe.10 April 2020
The quarantine activities may be relaxed in the second half of May, provided that everyone adheres to the established restrictions. The state is doing everything it can to support its citizens. The Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov described the situation in the country on his Facebook page today, on April 10.
“With each passing day, we are better prepared to mitigate the blow of the pandemic, which means we will be able to keep more people healthy and alive… All people with pneumonia syndromes are already being tested with PCR tests, and doctors deciding on the results of each test. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Internal Affairs carry out a short epidemiological investigation of each case of infection, inform and check people at risk, directing them to self-isolation, observation, or treatment. The joint MoH/MIA control register includes tens of thousands of people under surveillance. It is important to do what has to be done – to support medicine and create a system of “breaking the chain of viral infection” through quarantine”, – stressed the Minister.
“I can assume and hope that with such dynamics of virus spread, the country will start to return to normal life in May and will finally recover at this stage until summer. It is difficult to predict the course of the epidemic, which nature is so little known. Still, we in the government are hoping and doing everything so that the first steps of the “restart of the economy” will become possible in late April. This will be done in stages, and the quarantine will be weakened first for young people and then for older people in the second half of May”, – informed Arsen Avakov.
The results of recent sociological studies have shown that at least 55% of Ukrainians are now at a zone of economic risk due to the introduction of quarantine, while 73% of respondents said that their savings would be sufficient for a month at most. According to these studies:
- 45% of respondents have not experienced pay cut; they work as before or remotely;
- 11% – works in a reduced work time and pay mode;
- 17% – were forced to take a vacation at their own expense;
- 8% – unemployed, who had no job before quarantine;
- 7% – housewives, women on maternity leave and or not employed before quarantine;
- 6% – people who have been fired and have lost their jobs;
- 6% – pensioners, students who were not employed before the quarantine.
“To stabilize the economic situation, the Government and the President have decided to introduce a system of direct financial assistance to the population. Working and non-working pensioners, who have a total monthly income of less than 5000 UAH, will receive 1000 UAH per month; an additional 500 UAH will be paid to those over 80 years old. All these payments will take place automatically. For the unemployed who have lost their jobs, there will be direct payments of unemployment benefits through the Employment Centers”, – noted Arsen Avakov.
The Minister stressed that the payments of unemployment benefits would be made under a new procedure:
“Firstly, the payments will be charged immediately, from the first day of application, by a simplified procedure. Secondly, due to quarantine, the application can be sent online without leaving home. You will be contacted by phone, and you will receive assistance. Now the minimum “naked” sum is 650 UAH per month, but in reality, taking into account the insurance period and other factors, the minimum payment will be about 1800 UAH per month. The maximum payout will be 8408 UAH per month”.
Arsen Avakov also noted that a new affordable credit program of state aid to small and medium businesses under the name “5-7-9” had been approved.
“5%, 7%, 9% per annum for a sum up to 1.5 million UAH, for up to 5 years. Entrepreneurs have already shown great interest in the program – in a few days, the sum of loan applications submitted from small businesses reached about 10 billion UAH. Such state aid can seriously help small business, which plays a vital role in our country. State banks – Oschadbank, Privatbank, Ukrgasbank, Ukreximbank, as well as private banks – Lviv, Kredobank, FUIB – are authorized to issue loans. While you are forced to quarantine, gentlemen of entrepreneurship, think about a quick restart. At this site, you can find the details: 5-7-9.gov.ua”, – informed Arsen Avakov.
The Minister of Internal Affairs expressed hope that on Monday the Verkhovna Rada would accept the government proposals with its amendments. Then many things became clear: from the decisions on assistance from international financial organizations to the parameters of support for people and business during the epidemic and resulting economic crisis.