Russia, Ukraine post record high jump in daily COVID-19 cases


Posted at Nov 14 2020 05:10 PM

MOSCOW/KIEV— Russia and Ukraine on Saturday posted record single-day reporting of new COVID-19 figures, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to grip the world. 

Russia reported 22,702 new coronavirus infections, taking the national tally to 1,903,253.

Authorities also reported 391 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 32,834. 

Ukraine, meanwhile, registered a record 12,524 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, its health minister said on Saturday, up from 11,787 reported on Nov. 13.

Maksym Stepanov said the new cases had taken the total number of confirmed infections to 525,176, with 9,508 deaths.

"This is a war, every day the virus takes the lives of Ukrainians," Stepanov told a televised briefing.

The daily infection tally began rising in September, leading the government to decide to impose a national lockdown at weekends to try to curb the spread of the virus.

But authorities in some cities have said they would ignore the government's order as they seek to avoid worsening the economic situation in the regions.

Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Friday the government decision was binding, and Stepanov said the new measures could help to preserve the country's medical system.

"If we reduce the spread of the disease in these two days (at weekends), we will significantly reduce the burden on our medical system," Stepanov said.

Weekend lockdowns will be in force from Nov. 14 to 30. They require the closing or restricting of the activity of most businesses, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals and transport. 

COVID-19 has sickened more than 53.3 million worldwide, based on figures from the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine in the US. Of this figure, around 1.3 million have died while more than 34.4 million have recovered.