The World Health Organization has advised Ukraine to “destroy high-threat pathogens housed in the country’s public health laboratories” to prevent “any potential spills” that would spread disease among the population, the agency told Reuters on Thursday.
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“Biosecurity experts say Russia’s movement of troops into Ukraine and bombardment of its cities have raised the risk of an escape of disease-causing pathogens, should any of those facilities be damaged,” Reuters reported.
“In response to questions from Reuters about its work with Ukraine ahead of and during Russia’s invasion, the WHO said in an email that it has collaborated with Ukrainian public health labs for several years to promote security practices that help prevent ‘accidental or deliberate release of pathogens’,” Reuters added.
“As part of this work, WHO has strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine and other responsible bodies to destroy high-threat pathogens to prevent any potential spills,” the WHO said.
“Ukrainian officials in Kyiv and at their embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment,” Reuters noted.
However, Becker News obtained and exclusively translated the documents that showed that Ukraine had already begun sterilizing the biolabs beginning on February 24.
Major General Igor Konashenkov, an official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, provided the information to journalists. Moscow said that the documents, allegedly originating from employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories, confirmed that “components of biological weapons were being developed in Ukraine, in close proximity to Russian territory,” as reported by RIA Novosti.
“In the course of a special military operation, the facts of an emergency cleansing by the Kiev regime of traces of a military biological program being implemented in Ukraine, funded by the US Department of Defense, were uncovered,” Konashenkov said.
“We have received documentation from employees of Ukrainian biological laboratories on the emergency destruction of especially dangerous pathogens on February 24 — the causative agents of plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other deadly diseases,” Konashenkov claimed.
“The Ukrainian Minister of Health Security in connection with the introduction of martial law in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, according to the Ukrainian Presidential Order on 24.02.2022, No. 64/2022 requests to ensure the emergency destruction of biological pathogens used to ensure the quality management system of laboratories in the attached order: appendix on 2 sheets. in 1 approx.”
The document references Viktor Liashko, the Minister of Health in Ukraine.
“The order carrying out of emergency destruction of the biological pathogenic agents which are used for maintenance of system and quality management of laboratory in case of emergence of extraordinary military character”:
This Order determines the mechanism of carrying out the emergency destruction of biologic pathogenic agents, which are used to ensure the quality management system of laboratory tests (hereinafter – biological pathogens), in case of military situations.
For the timely implementation of measures aimed at the destruction of biological pathogens in the event of emergencies, the heads of disease control and prevention centers under the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the laboratory centers under the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, and government agencies “Ukrainian Research Anti-Plague Institute named after I.I. Mechnikov of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine” and public institutions of the “Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine”:
1. Approve plans for emergency destruction of biological pathogenic agents in case of military emergencies;
2. Determine the authorities responsible for the emergence of military emergencies;
3. Provide for the creation of reserves of funds for the emergency destruction of biological pathogens and in case of emergencies of a military nature.
3. [sic] Institutions that hold working sets of biological pathogens to ensure the quality management system of laboratory tests, must destroy them by disinfection (hereinafter – disinfection);
4. Disinfection of biological pathogens is carried out by certain rehabilitative persons with secondary or secondary special education, who… have been trained in laboratory biosafety and bioanalysis and have experience working with biological pathogens.
5. Disinfection of biological pathogens is carried out by autoclaving with mandatory compliance with the relevant regimes and control in accordance with the requirements of applicable regulations;
6. In the case where it is impossible to use an autoclave, disinfection of biological pathogens is carried out by appropriate disinfectants or by boiling;
7. The results of disinfection are entered in the control log, the work of air and steam (autoclave) sterilizers, form No. 257/0, approved by the order of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine of January 4, 2001 No. 1 “About the statement of the forms of the medical accounting documentation used in laboratories of medical and preventive institutions” (with changes).
8. Disposal of decontaminated material will be adjudicated in accordance with internal procedures approved by the institution.