Health Ministry insists on banning mass religious rites

Deputy Minister of Health Viktor Liashko during the briefing on coronavirus in Ukraine. Photo: video screenshot from the Ministry of Health's Facebook page

The Deputy Minister of Health emphasized that the Ministry is against any public events during the quarantine period, whether it relates to entertainment or religion.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine will insist that no mass events, including religious ones, be held in the country during the quarantine period. This was announced by Deputy Minister of Health Viktor Liashko during the briefing on March 19, 2020, dedicated to measures to counter the spread of coronavirus infection. The briefing was broadcast on the Ministry of Health's Facebook page.

Answering the question of whether any measures will be taken regarding the Churches during the quarantine period, Liashko emphasized that the Ministry of Health opposes any mass events, “urges everyone to refrain from mobility and to remain in self-isolation in their residential premises, since this is one of guarantees to eliminate the risk of possible infection."

“We have a negative attitude to all the events that are currently taking place in the territory of Ukraine and lead to mass congestion of population, especially in enclosed spaces or in transport,” he said. “Therefore, we will critically and persistently adhere to our position so that during the quarantine period no mass events, either entertaining or related to religious or other rites, are held in the territory of our country.”

Liashko said that on March 18, the Ministry of Health held a general teleconference with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Police, during which "they worked out an algorithm for cooperation in detecting violations."

“I think the Ministry of Internal Affairs will cope well with the situation if mass events are held in violation of the rules laid down in the quarantine decree,” the official added. “We must understand that it is much easier to prevent any disease than to provide medical treatment later. These measures are not just prescribed; they have proven to be effective and resulting.”

As reported by the UOJ, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine called on religious organizations to counteract the coronavirus.

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