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Scoop of the day: Ukraine reports highest daily Covid-19 death toll

Scoop of the day: Ukraine reports highest daily Covid-19 death toll

Coronavirus

On 22 March, Ukraine registered the highest number of deaths caused by the coronavirus, 333. There were 11,476 new Covid-19 cases registered in 24 hours after running 44,647 tests.

As the coronavirus is spreading, Ukraine is facing a "very difficult period", Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has warned. He noted that the UK variant, "which is more aggressive, contagious and infecting young people", has become widespread all over Ukraine. He added that people who recovered from the UK variant need longer rehabilitation.

The Health Ministry has added Lviv Region to the red coronavirus zone.

The city of Dnipro has voluntarily decided to introduce strict quarantine measures as of 25 March to prevent a collapse of its healthcare system, mayor Borys Filatov has said.

The Cabinet of Ministers has tightened face masks rules for red zones by mandating their wearing in parks, squares, streets, at cemeteries and beaches.

Protest case

Kyiv's Pecherskyy district court has placed Donbas war veteran and book publisher Vladyslav Stafiychuk (Sord) under round-the-clock house arrest. Police accuse him of smashing dorr glass at the presidential office during the 20 March protest in support of convicted activist Serhiy Sternenko. The publishing house confirmed that he did break the glass: "Yes, it was not necessary. But the protest was against police arbitrariness and the authorities' silence."

Police have also served a notice of suspicion to Serhiy Filimonov, who organized the 20 March protest. He is suspected of hooliganism for firing crackers and instigating riots.

Donbas

Ukraine considers the Russian party Just Russia-For Truth's plans to open its offices in separatist-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as yet another evidence of Russia escalating the situation in Donbas, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Oleh Nikolenko, has said. "The declared goal of the Just Russia representative centre to promote the exercising of voting rights of 'Russian citizens'- residents of the temporarily occupied territories grossly violates the legislation and sovereignty of Ukraine, creates space for fraud in the Russian elections. Recently, Russia has been actively discussing the organization of elections to the State Duma in ORDLO [separatist-controlled Donbas]," Nikolenko said.

The Russian occupying troops have violated the ceasefire three times since midnight, the Joint Forces Operation HQ has said. They fired with grenade launchers and small arms near Vodyane and Avdiivka, and small arms near Shyrokyne.

Security

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has to disband its main department for fighting corruption and organized crime, known as K department, due to the creation of the Economic Security Bureau, a deputy head of the parkiamentary committee for national security, defence and intelligence, Maryana Bezuhla, has said.

Post mortem

Metropolitan of Khmelnytskyy and Kamyanets-Podilskyy Antoniy (Makhota) of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine died at 55, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) has said.

Economy

Economy, Trade and Agriculture Minister Ihor Petrashko has said that the Ukrainian economy has passed the lowest point of downturn after the State Statistics Service said GDP fell by 4% in 2020, not 4.2% as the ministry expected.

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