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Ukraine sees new record high in virus deaths, infections

Fitness & Health:

Ukraine’s coronavirus infections and deaths have reached all-time highs for a second straight day, a growing challenge for the country where the share of vaccinated is one of Europe’s lowest

Authorities in the capital, Kyiv, shut schools for two weeks starting Friday, and similar measures were ordered in other areas with high contagion levels.

Overall, the country has registered over 2.7 million infections and about 63,000 deaths.

The steep rise in contagion has prompted the government to tighten restrictions. Starting Thursday, proof of vaccination or a negative test is required to board planes, trains and long-distance buses.

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A black market for counterfeit vaccination certificates has blossomed amid the restrictions, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy chaired a meeting earlier this week on ways of combating the illegal practice.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said police have opened 800 criminal cases concerning the use of such certificates, adding that the ministry deployed 100 mobile units to track down their holders, who would face severe punishment.

He said that a former lawmaker, Nadiya Savchenko, produced a fake proof of vaccination as she returned to Ukraine Friday.

Police said they suspect workers at 15 hospitals across the country of involvement in issuing false vaccination certificates.

To encourage vaccination, authorities have started offering shots in shopping malls. As infections soared, skeptical attitudes began to change and a record number of more than 270,000 people received vaccines over the past 24 hours.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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