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26 Sep, 2020 17:24

Worrying times in Kiev as Ukraine hits daily record of Covid-19 cases, while infections in Russia also continue to rise

Worrying times in Kiev as Ukraine hits daily record of Covid-19 cases, while infections in Russia also continue to rise

As Western European countries, such as the UK and France, face a likely second wave of Covid-19, Eastern Europe – less severely hit in spring – may be following in tow. Russia and Ukraine are now seeing an uptick in infections.

In Ukraine, doctors over the last 24 hours confirmed 3,833 new cases of Covid-19, a record figure since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, his country is being hit by a second wave. Europe’s poorest state is especially vulnerable given the dire state of its health service. 

“Cases are spiking all around the world now, and Ukraine is no exception; the case count keeps growing,” Zelensky said. “Now, we have 3,000 new cases every day. Sadly, this is the second coronavirus wave in Ukraine.” 

Across the border in Russia, the head of the country’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has warned that infection rates are up due to non-compliance with Covid-19 rules. Russia has recorded 7,523 cases in the last day, a record since June 22 when there were 7,600 notifications.

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“Today's risks, as we expected, are linked to the onset of the cold season, and namely the season of acute respiratory viral infections,” Anna Popova said. “But primary, [the growth in numbers] is related to the fact that people are not complying with the requirements.”

On Friday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced that businesses should go back to work-from-home amidst a 30 percent rise in daily hospitalizations in the country's capital. Sobyanin also urged Muscovites aged over 65 to stay at home as much as possible, asking them to “temporarily stop contact with family and friends who live separately.”  

Unlike Ukraine, Russia has not completely closed its borders to foreigners. Flights to countries such as the United Kingdom and Turkey have been operating since early August, and links to other countries are gradually being added. Last week, Russia resumed air service with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and South Korea. 

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