KYIV, Ukraine — Authorities in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, introduced tighter lockdown restrictions on Monday following a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
For two weeks starting Monday, all schools and kindergartens in the city of 3 million people will be closed, and only those with special passes will be allowed on public transport. According to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, only 400,000 people – doctors and rescuers, social, transport and utility workers, law enforcement officers and those involved in retails — will get the passes.
“The hospitals are almost full. The situation is difficult,” Klitschko said.
In Kyiv, 458 new cases of the virus and 32 new deaths were registered on Monday. Over 10,000 new infections were confirmed over the past 24 hours in all of Ukraine, a nation of 41 million
Kyiv went into a strict three-week lockdown on March 20. Ten other regions in Ukraine out of 24 have also been designated a “red zone” and introduced tough coronavirus restrictions. Health Minister Maxym Stepanov have warned that if 70% of the country’s regions end up in the “red zone,” a strict nationwide lockdown will be introduced.
Ukraine began vaccinations against the coronavirus in late February, after receiving 500,000 doses of the Indian-made AstraZeneca vaccine. Last month, the country also received 215,000 doses of a shot developed by the Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech. So far only 291,822 people have received the shots due to widespread reluctance.