Record rise in virus cases as Ukraine warns of 'serious wave'

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Ukraine on Friday reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as authorities warned lockdowns may have to be re-imposed if people continued to flout restrictions.

Health authorities recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing Ukraine's total to more than 41,000.

"People have ceased to comply with restrictions," Prime Minister Denys Shmygal wrote on his Telegram channel late Thursday.

"If we want to preserve the economy and not quarantine the country, the only way is to adhere to restrictions together."

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly complained that people are ignoring social distancing and other after anti-virus restrictions were eased last month.

"We have entered a serious wave," Shmygal said, adding that the number of coronavirus patients who needed to be hospitalised was also rising.

Ukrainian authorities said last week they were considering reimposing restrictions in several regions hardest-hit by the virus.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization said that Europe has seen a surge of cases since countries began easing restrictions.

The WHO said more than two dozen countries in Europe last week had seen resurgences of the coronavirus for the first time in months.

Ukraine eased its lockdown measures in late May and early June with the resumption of public transport and the reopening of parks, outdoor cafes and beauty salons. International flights resumed last week.

© 2020 AFP

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