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.
“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.
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