Ukraine sets record virus deaths for third straight day

KIEV (AFP) – Ukraine registered a record number of coronavirus deaths for the third straight day, health authorities said yesterday, 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 on Wednesday 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 re-introduced 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.