Ukraine on Monday announced shutdowns of public transport, bars, restaurants and shopping malls to stem the spread of the coronavirus after President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to act “harshly, urgently, perhaps unpopularly”.
The government supported Zelensky’s proposals and introduced restrictions on domestic movement, including full closure of the country’s three metro systems — in Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnipro — until April 3.
The government also banned mass events with more than ten people participating.
Ukraine has officially confirmed seven cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and one death. Two new cases were confirmed in Kiev late on Monday.
Last month, dozens of protesters in a Ukrainian town attacked buses carrying evacuees from the coronavirus-hit China.
According to the Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko’s statement, schools and colleges are also being closed and banned major public events.
“We need to buy time. We must reduce the chances of the virus spreading through the capital”, Klitschko further said in a statement.
Ukraine’s other major cities, from Lviv in the west to the southern port of Odessa, have closed museums and swimming pools.
The death toll due to the COVID-19 outbreak in China has increased to 3,226, authorities said on Tuesday, while the number of confirmed cases in the Asian country has risen to 80,881.
The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 80,881 by the end of Monday, including 8,976 patients who were still being treated, 68,679 patients who had been discharged after recovery, and 3,226 people who died of the disease.