Weekend lockdown should stop spread of COVID-19 - Stepanov

Weekend lockdown should stop spread of COVID-19 - Stepanov

A weekend lockdown in Ukraine should halt the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the collapse of the country's medical system, according to Health Minister Maksym Stepanov.

"The result we expect is a halt in the huge number of cases, when the number of patients grows by thousands every day, and, as a result, the number of people hospitalized grows, the number of severe cases grows. Why are we tightening quarantine measures? It is important for us to prevent the collapse of the medical system. If that happens, our beds will be 100% full, and in that case people in need of medical care will not be provided with it in the hospital," Stepanov said at a briefing on Thursday, November 12.

According to him, from the point of view of epidemiology, the best option to prevent the spread of the disease would be the introduction of a three-week lockdown. However, this is impossible, given the projected economic losses Ukraine may face, he said.

Stepanov recalled that the weekend lockdown would last from 00:00 on Saturday to 00:00 on Monday. The restrictions were introduced for three weeks, until the end of November, he said.

According to the minister, public transport will continue to operate. Grocery stores, animal feed shops, pharmacies, exchange offices, institutions providing financial services, postal services, gas stations except for food areas, and auto repair shops will remain open.

Gyms, fitness centers, swimming pools, shopping malls, non-grocery stores, etc. will have to close.

At the national level, restrictions on the orange level of epidemic danger are being introduced.

On November 11, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to abandon a so-called adaptive quarantine and impose orange-level restrictions throughout the country. The government also decided to impose a three-week weekend lockdown, starting from November 14-15.

As many as 11,057 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ukraine as of November 11, bringing the total to 500,865.


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