Ukraine’s capital will become the latest European city to go into lockdown, with strict three-week measures being introduced for Kyiv on Saturday as vaccinations failed to prevent a third wave of coronavirus infections.
Restaurants, offices, schools, and shops selling goods other than food were ordered to close after months of relatively relaxed enforcement of safety measures.
The closings come as other parts of Europe are struggling with a surge in infections. A nationwide lockdown for Italy was announced on Monday, and several regions in France began a lockdown on Friday that will last for at least a month.
Even as case counts rose recently, Kyiv’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene often looked almost as if there were no pandemic. Night clubs stayed open, though they required mask-wearing on the dance floors.
But the partial measures did not work. Coronavirus hospitals in the city are 70 percent full, and Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Friday that 1,210 people had tested positive in the capital over the past 24 hours. Across Ukraine, the health authorities registered an average of 11,315 new cases a day over the past week.
“The situation is difficult and can become catastrophic,” Mr. Klitschko said this week.
Ukraine, which obtained vaccines in deals with India and China, has been slow to inoculate a population in which hesitancy over the vaccines is widespread. Just 0.2 percent of Ukraine’s population has been inoculated.
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