The National Criminal Agency (NAKA) is investigating the case of a businessman prohibiting Ukrainian refugees from entering his shop. An announcement, written in Ukrainian was displayed on the shop’s front door.
“In order to protect the health of Svit-Podskalka residents ALL Ukrainian refugees are banned from entering this shop as there is a chance of the transmission of dangerous diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, etc.,” read the announcement police published on Facebook.
In recent days, unfounded news circulated on the internet and social media, alleging that various diseases were detected among the war refugees from Ukraine.
“A National Criminal Agency investigator took over the case under suspicion of the crime of apartheid and discrimination against of a group of people. An investigation is currently under way. No more information can be provided at the present time,” police wrote on social media.
Health Ministry: we are prepared
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that generally affects the lungs and usually spreads by inhaling tiny droplets from the coughing or sneezing of an infected person. In Slovakia, the disease is practically non-existent, mandatory country-wide vaccination dropped in 2012. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection that over time causes a condition in which the progressive failure of a person’s immune system occurs.
Together with Covid, these infections are more prevalent in Ukraine than in Slovakia. According to the World Bank, the incidence of tuberculosis was three people per 100,000 in Slovakia in 2020, whereas in Ukraine it was 73 people per 100,000 in 2020. As for HIV, there were 1,582 infected people in Slovakia in 2021, whereas in Ukraine there were 260,000 infected people in 2020, according to the data provided to the SME daily.
Additionally, a more drug-resistant variant of tuberculosis is prevalent in Ukraine. The Slovak Health ministry says that it is prepared, stocking drugs, and no epidemic is imminent. Moreover, the state is providing refugees with medical care free-of-charge, which should limit the spread of disease.