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Pharmacies of Crimea in Serious Shortage of Medicines to Treat Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19

As of December 22, many Crimean pharmacies lack the medicines necessary to treat pneumonia caused by COVID-19. This is confirmed by the results of the Crimean Human Rights Group monitoring held in December in 124 pharmacies in 13 Crimean cities.

The monitoring group checked the availability of medicines that local doctors prescribe to Crimeans for the treatment of pneumonia, in the pharmacies. Now many people in Crimea have to undergo such treatment at home, because there are not enough beds in hospitals or patients, despite the availability of beds in the local hospital, are still assigned for home treatment.

The monitoring results showed a severe shortage of a number of medicines necessary for the treatment of pneumonia caused by coronavirus infection.

Dexamethasone (in ampules) and Hydrocortisone (in ampules) that are needed for the treatment of pneumonia caused by COVID-19, were not sold in all checked pharmacies. The World Health Organization recommends the administration of corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, or prednisone, to treat patients with severe COVID-19.

Prednisolone (tablets or ampules) was offered only in 13 pharmacies out of 124 and only in 6 cities out of 13.

Clexane and its analogue Fraxiparine (in ampules) are sold only in 3 pharmacies out of 124 tested (1 pharmacy in Armiansk, 1 pharmacy in Dzhankoy, 1 pharmacy in Feodosiya).

Such medicine in ampules as Cefepime and its analogs (Ceftriaxone, Cefotaxone, Axetine) are almost out of sale. These medicines are available only in 4 pharmacies out of 124 checked (2 pharmacies in Alushta, 1 pharmacy in Sevastopol and 1 pharmacy in Feodosiya)

(Pharmacies where on December 22 2020 some medicines for Covid pneumonia might be bought).

Azithromycin and its analogues (Clarithromycin, Sumamed) turned out to be the most available of the list of medicines selected for checking. These medicines are sold on average by 41% of pharmacies in all 13 cities checked (every fourth pharmacy on the monitoring list).

Mercury thermometers are on sale in 13 pharmacies in 5 cities.

On average, 20% of pharmacies out of 124 checked pharmacies in 13 cities sell heart rate meters.

Non-contact / electronic thermometers were seen only in half of all pharmacies checked.

The monitoring group checked 124 pharmacies located in different districts of 13 Crimean cities:

Alushta, Dzhankoy, Kerch, Krasnoperekopsk, Sudak, Feodosiya, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Yevpatoria (10 pharmacies in each city), Belogorsk and Yalta (9 pharmacies in each city), Bakhchisarai and Armiansk (8 pharmacies in each city).

The check was carried out by searching for the necessary medicines on the websites of pharmacies as well as by telephone communicating with the staff of these pharmacies.

Given that many Crimeans cannot receive treatment at hospital, the availability of the above mentioned medicines in pharmacies becomes vital for people.

The Russian Federation as occupying power shall take all necessary actions to fight against the COVID-10 spread, and to protect civilians of Crimea. However, the CHRG monitoring results, including the monitoring of the medicine availability, prove once and again that the RF violates the norms of the international humanitarian law, including Article 56 of the 4th Geneva Convention.

The monitoring findings and recommendations of the CHRG were taken into account in preparing the UN GA Resolution ‘Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ukraine’. The document states inadequate measures of the RF as occupying power to ensure and maintain public health and a proper sanitary and hygienic situation in Crimea.



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