2020-04-17 19:39:00

Coronavirus outbreak suspected in Pochaev Lavra, father superior refusing contact with medics

Kiev, April 17, Interfax - A large-scale outbreak of coronavirus is suspected in the Pochaev Lavra in the Ternopol Region, the region's chief sanitary doctor Oksana Chaichuk said.

However, the father superior is refusing cooperation with medics for tests to be performed, she said.

"Yesterday we had a situation in the Shumsk District, which is closely connected to the Pochaev Lavra, because the priest who is a member of the choir of the Pochaev Lavra is a clergyman on the territory of the Zbarazhsky District and his wife works as an accountant in the Shumsk hospital. Accordingly, there are contacts in the accounting office and our chief doctor and many other doctors are positive. Yesterday we had 21 positive cases, and there are 26 positive cases in Shumsk all in all," she said at a meeting of the operative headquarters of the Ternopol Region on Friday.

An epidemiological study also showed that an outbreak in the Dubensky District is associated with this priest.

"We have tried to contact the father superior of the Pochaev Lavra, he is not making contact. His assistant made contact, he promised to provide a list of members of the choir by 1:00 p.m. today. That did not happen," Chaichuk said.

"The Pochaev mayor is not much involved, either, he says he doesn't know anyone. We have managed to examine two priests, two choir members, and the others have very many contacts. They are priests who are in the Pochaev Lavra choir, they have parishes in the Shumsk District, the Krementsy District, the Zbarazhsky District. That is, if we achieve the results of the examination, there will be quite a big outbreak," she said.

According to the Moldovan consul, coronavirus has been confirmed in eight pilgrims who have visited the Pochaev Lavra.

"The situation in the Pochaev Lavra is under the prime minister's personal control. Requests are coming from the government. We are working with the National Police," Chaichuk said.

A total of 353 coronavirus cases were confirmed and 25 people recovered in the Ternopol Region as of the morning of April 17. This number includes the 20 new cases that were registered and the seven people who recovered in the past 24 hours.