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KIEV, March 25 — Ukraine registered a record number of coronavirus deaths for the third straight day, health authorities said today, as new infections also reached a record high.
The ex-Soviet country’s ageing healthcare system is struggling to cope with the contagion and its vaccination drive has made a stuttering start.
Health officials reported 16,669 new infections and 362 deaths, which topped the previous records of 342 set yesterday and 333 a day earlier.
Earlier this week Health Minister Maksym Stepanov warned that the country was “entering a very difficult period”.
Over the weekend, the capital Kiev reintroduced restrictions to stem the spread of the virus, shutting cultural venues and large shopping centres and limiting restaurants to takeouts.
Last week, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal warned of the possibility of a new national lockdown and urged regional officials to impose stronger restrictions.
Ukraine, one of Europe’s poorest countries, has so far received only 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine for its population of 40 million people.
The country launched a vaccination campaign last month, later than many of its neighbours. More than 150,000 people have received a first jab, the health ministry has said.
Ukraine has recorded over 1.5 million infections and more than 31,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. — AFP
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