June 24, 2020 / 9:38 AM / 2 months ago

Ukraine to open more hospitals to coronavirus cases amid surge

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine is opening more of its hospitals to coronavirus cases as the institutions initially chosen to accept patients no longer have enough beds to cope with a surge in infections, the health minister said on Wednesday.

The daily rise of coronavirus cases hit a new high of 940 on Wednesday, bringing the total to 39,014, with 1,051 deaths. Most new cases were registered in west Ukraine and the capital.

At the start of the epidemic, Ukraine divided hospitals into categories, with the best prepared institutions taking patients in the first wave. Second-line hospitals would accept cases once the other institutions had no more places.

Officials say some citizens have not stuck closely enough to guidance on social distancing and other precautions to prevent the virus spreading, leading to a surge in cases.

“With this attitude of citizens, in some regions there is a sharp increase in the number of people who are hospitalised. In this regard, we need to open the second-line,” Health Minister Maksym Stepanov told a televised briefing.

Ukraine, which introduced a lockdown in March, began easing restrictions in May to help the economy.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Edmund Blair

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