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Scoop of the weekend: coronavirus hospital occupancy rate at 40%

Scoop of the weekend: coronavirus hospital occupancy rate at 40%

Coronavirus

On the morning of 20 December, Ukraine reported 8,325 new Covid-19 cases, 116 fatalities and 6,626 recoveries.

The occupancy rate at Ukrainian coronavirus hospitals is 40% on average, the Health Ministry has said. In two regions – Mykolayiv and Odesa – the occupancy rates are 64.5% and 50.8% respectively.

USA

The USA could play a key role with regard to the issues of Ukraine's Donbas and Crimea, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said in an interview with The New York Times. "I believe that the United States of America can have a very strong influence. I believe that President Biden could step up our negotiations in the Normandy format, because he understands the issues of Ukraine and Russia well," he said.

Armed pirates took hostage eight crew members of the Stevia ship (IMO 8107000, sailing under the Cameroon flag), including six Ukrainians, off Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea on 16 December, according to the Seafarers Journal. It quoted the daughter of chief officer Semen Reznichenko, who was taken captive, asking for help.

Belarus

Fifteen Belarusians have requested shelter in Ukraine since August, according to Radio Liberty.

Defence Ministry

Censor.net editor-in-chief Yuriy Butusov, who has often criticised the Defence Ministry, has said on Facebook that he has agreed to become a non-staff adviser to Defence Minister Andriy Taran for two months.

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