According to available information, the Russian occupation administration in some areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, as well as in Crimea, hides from local residents the real state of coronavirus incidence. This deprives people of the opportunity to protect themselves from the COVID-19 epidemic.
The situation is worsened by the lack of medical personnel, test systems and a shortage of places in medical institutions.
As of March 30, the occupation administration in ORLO (occupied areas of Luhansk Oblast) acknowledged the existence of one coronavirus case, no cases are confirmed in ORDO (occupied areas of Donetsk Oblast). However, testing for coronavirus is actually not carried out due to the lack of test systems. Diagnostics is rarely conducted only for representatives of the occupation administration and the military.
At the same time, doctors in ORLO are forced to sign commitments not to disclose the actual state of the disease. Some physicians are de facto in self-isolation with their families, confirming that they have serious problems.
Individuals who have severe symptoms of coronavirus infection are diagnosed with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI). According to available data, in the temporarily occupied settlements of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts there are about 10 thousand patients with ARI, a significant part of which already has complications in the form of pneumonia. Most of these citizens do not receive proper medical care and are at home due to the lack of beds in medical institutions.
At the same time, the occupation administrations are taking measures to ensure the security of Russian military contingent. In Donbas, units of the occupying forces are being quarantined and restrictions are being imposed on communication with the civilians, including family members. A similar situation has been observed in Crimea.
It is known that a group of military specialists in virology has arrived on the territory of ORDLO (occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts) from Russia. Their main task is to provide medical support to the Russian military, since the occupation "corps" does not have CBRN defence TOE units. The arrival of the special group also indicates the preparation for the arrival and deployment of Russian CBRN defence units to ORDLO.
Therefore, the occupation administration is evading from fulfilling its direct obligations to protect civilians by focusing attention and resources on the medical provision of the military units. This is a violation of the norms of international humanitarian law.
The Ministry for Reintegration urge international humanitarian organizations, within the framework of the relevant mandate, to strengthen monitoring of the situation with regard to medical support to the residents of TOT and to inform the international community about the violation of the human rights to life and health by the occupation authorities.