News Society, 11/04/2021

Kyiv Volunteers Hand over Oxygen Concentrators to Kharkivites

“Kharkiv residents are increasingly turning to volunteers of the Svoi (Ukrainian: One’s) Foundation from Kyiv, which donates oxygen concentrators for patients with Covid-19. Official statistics do not correspond to the real situation,” the executive director of the Svoi foundation, Iryna Koshkina informs in “Sohodni. Holovne” (Ukrainian: Today. The main thing) program.

“We haven’t had a single day without Kharkiv for the last two weeks. Yesterday [Kh.O.: April 5] I helped four people from Kharkiv to be hospitalized. Speaking of specific cases, yesterday I had patients from Kharkiv who were not taken to hospital with an oxygen saturation of 80. An ambulance arrived, they gave the patient oxygen to help him breathe in the ambulance, provided medical care and left the patient at home,” she said.

Iryna considers the situation in Kharkiv “very strange.”

“According to official statistics [Kh.O.: of local authorities], 53 percent of hospital beds are occupied in Kharkiv. In turn, the Ministry of Health reports about 53.9 percent of occupancy of oxygen beds in Kharkiv region as of April 6. In fact, critically ill people are refused in hospitalization in Kharkiv,” Iryna Koshkina added.

“I relate it to the fact that Kharkiv is actually in a pre-election state. [Kh.O.: Kharkiv mayor Hennady Kernes died due to coronavirus complications in December 2020. Kharkiv residents will elect a new mayor in October 2021]. I connect it to the fact why the city has not been transferred into the red zone yet [Kh.O.: as of April 6] and why the real picture of free and occupied hospital beds is not officially given,” she explains.

Hanna Lebedeva from Kharkiv twice tried to hospitalize her parents-in-law with Covid-19, after unsuccessful attempts she took a concentrator from volunteers.

“Parents-in-law are reasonable now. They haven’t been recovered yet, but the immediate crisis is over. We found a private doctor who treated them at home,” Lebedeva tells.

“According to rough estimates, we spent about 23,500 UAH ($850). This is despite the fact that we had free oxygen. The fund gave us an oxygen concentrator for free,” she added.

According to Iryna Koshkina, people from Kharkiv often apply to the fund with a request to hospitalize them in medical institutions or ask for oxygen. “On April 5-6, five concentrators were given to Kharkiv region,” she said.

Text: Natalia Ivanova