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Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine braces up for coronavirus spread

Scoop of the weekend: Ukraine braces up for coronavirus spread

The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Ukraine has reached 73 by the evening of 22 March, which is 26 more than a day earlier, according to the Health Ministry. Twenty new cases were registered in Kyiv, three in Ivano-Frankivsk Region, one each in Kyiv, Lviv and Cherkasy regions.

Health Minister Illya Yemets supports the idea of declaring a state of emergency. “This should have been done from the start. If we had managed, there would have been no such spread at geometric progression as we have now,” he said on the air of 112 Ukrayina TV.

Parliament is planning to hold an emergency session tentatively on Tuesday, 24 March, sources in the propresidential party Servant of the People have told “The agenda includes voting for the president’s decree declaring a state of emergency in the country,” a source said.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has promised support for business and people who may lose jobs due to the spread of coronavirus. The talks are underway with the IMF to secure support funds, according to him. Shmyhal once again called on non-vital businesses to suspend operation or work remotely.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has had a phone conversation with the IMF chief to discuss an increase in the Fund’s support for Ukraine in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klitschko has announced the tightening of quarantine rules in the capital. As of 23 March, public transport will only carry passengers who work in the vital sectors of public life such as health workers, rescuers, law enforcers, grocery and pharmacy employees who must have special passes.

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