Ukraine prolongs coronavirus state of emergency

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 21 Sep 2021 by Alex Teddy

On September 20 Kyiv said the state of emergency will last until December 31, 2021, at least. It is classified as a ''yellow epidemic''. This means there are restrictions on how many people can gather in public and it means mask mandates and social distancing. The yellow restrictions are not applied if all participants at an event and at least 80% of the staff have had at least one vaccine dose or a PCR test within the last 3 days.The number of coronavirus diagnoses leapt 68% in a week, and hospitalizations were up 51%. Deaths are not rising too steeply. Ukraine has 2.4 million coronavirus cases and 55,000 deaths out of population of 41 million. Only 5 million people have been double vaccinated. Ukraine has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe because it is the poorest country. It refuses to buy Russia's vaccine despite its being cheap. Kyiv is therefore reliant on the largesse of the EU and the US for vaccines. These countries are prioritizing their own people. The extended restrictions are harming the economy. That is partly why Zelensky's approval rate is falling but he remains the most popular politician in the country. Ukraine desperately needs the next installment of cash from the IMF. This is contingent on judicial reform, which is stalling.

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