Europe

Virus deaths, cases surge to new records in Ukraine

New COVID-19 infections and death rates have reached all-time highs in Ukraine, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in all of Europe. 

In the past 24 hours, officials reported 22,415 new confirmed infections and 546 deaths, marking an all-time high for Ukraine since the pandemic's start, according to The Associated Press

Overall, Ukraine has seen more than 2.7 million infections and over 62,000 deaths throughout the pandemic. 

 Only about 15 percent of Ukraine's population of 41 million people is fully vaccinated. Armenia is the only European country that has a lower vaccination rate than Ukraine, the AP noted.

However, a record number of over 251,000 people got their vaccines in Ukraine over the past 24 hours. In an effort to further encourage people to get vaccinated, Ukraine also started offering COVID-19 shots in shopping malls, the AP reported.

Despite lagging vaccination rates, officials have been hesitant to impose a lockdown and further damage its economy.

Amid the rising infections, Ukraine will begin to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before people get on a plane, train or long-distance bus, the wire service reported.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting earlier this week to discuss ways to mitigate the use of counterfeit vaccination certificates. Police have said that they believe workers at 15 Ukrainian hospitals have been part of a scheme issuing fake vaccine certificates, according to the AP.

 

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