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Scoop of the day: more Ukrainian regions move into red zone

Scoop of the day: more Ukrainian regions move into red zone

Coronavirus

On the morning of 22 March, Ukraine reported 7,893 new Covid-19 cases after 34,129 tests. Some 3,026 patients were taken to hospital, 157 died and 2,993 recovered. Most new cases were registered in Lviv Region (937), Odesa Region (745), Zhytomyr Region (580), Kyiv Region (557) and Vinnytsya Region (513).

Kyiv Region and Sumy Region will officially move into the red zone as of 24 March. The city of Kyiv, Zhytomyr Region, Transcarpathian Region, Ivano-Frankivsk Region, Odesa Region and Chernivtsi Region are already there.

Despite entering the red zone, public transport in Kyiv will not grind to a halt but will have to follow strict pandemic regulations, like running at half capacity.

The age band of 50 plus is most affected by the coronavirus in Ukraine, according to chief sanitary officer Viktor Lyashko. He added that the age breakdown of infections has hardly changed since 2020.

Individual entrepreneurs have again protested against the lockdown introduced in Kyiv as of 20 March. They want the government to review their decision and call the quarantine "selective".

Vaccination

Ukraine has opened 565 stationary vaccination points. Over 2,500 more points are expected to be opened as of 29 March if a new batch of vaccines arrives.

Donbas

The Russian occupying troops have violated the ceasefire in Donbas five times since midnight, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said.

They fired with banned 120-mm and 82-mm mortars near Pisky, mounted grenade launchers near Bohdanivka, various grenade launchers near Vodyane, and heavy machine-guns near Taramchuk.

The Joint Forces returned fire. No casualties were reported.

A local resident in Orikhove-Donetske, Luhansk Region, appears to have triggered an explosive while loading wooden planks into a car. He survived despite sustaining many injuries.

EU prospects

Ukraine hopes to become a member of the EU in five to 10 years, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has told the German business daily Handelsblatt. In his opinion, there are no fundamental obstacles to Ukraine's accession to the EU.

Economy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has assured visiting European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Odile Renaud-Basso that he is set to work on improving energy efficiency and investment climate. He invited the EBRD to take part in infrastructure projects and privatization in Ukraine.

Ukraine's economy in 2020 shrank by 4% year on year, according to the State Statistics Service.

Crime

Cyber experts of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have blocked a crime ring which has stolen around 5m dollars from Ukrainians by misappropriating investments, pretending to be taking part in exchange trading and crypto currency transactions.

The cyber police have exposed a financial scheme which has defrauded over 55,000 depositors. They were running a website which offered investors passive income from investing in the sale of appliances and taxi service.

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