Photo from UNIAN, Viacheslav Ratynskyi

Medics, as well as owners of Ukrainian catering establishments on Wednesday held two independent rallies outside the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in the capital city of Kyiv.

Healthcare workers claimed they had received only UAH 1 billion (US$35.6 million) of UAH 65 billion (US$2.3 billion) laid down in the COVID-19 Relief Fund, an UNIAN correspondent reports.

Protesters are outraged over the fact that the rest of the money had been used for other purposes, in particular, for additional payments to law enforcement and for road construction.

Read alsoPM vows support for businesses amid "weekend quarantine" bansIn addition, healthcare workers said the new government quarantine initiatives to introduce "weekend quarantine" were meaningless. They say the coronavirus will inevitably continue to spread in an environment where schools are still operating since children are asymptomatic carriers of the virus, so shutting down catering establishments over the weekend will yield no positive results.

According to healthcare workers, if all the money provided by the COVID-19 Relief Fund was allocated to the fight against coronavirus, the current situation with a sharp increase in the COVID-19 ascertainment rate could have been avoided.

In turn, restaurateurs at their rally demanded that the government amend their quarantine plans, in particular, abandon the idea of "weekend quarantine." They said they had suffered heavy financial losses during the spring quarantine and now the relevant weekend ban could finish off the industry.

Weekend quarantine in Ukraine: Background

  • On November 9, Ukraine's Deputy Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer Viktor Liashko said the government would decide soon on the strict quarantine curbs over the weekend.
  • In particular, the Health Ministry invites the government to establish additional quarantine curbs on the territory of Ukraine and prohibit all mass cultural events, restrict the activities of food courts, children's rooms and entertainment zones in shopping and entertainment centers, gyms, fitness centers, and swimming pools.
  • The Health Ministry proposes to recommend to business entities to introduce a separate time for servicing people over 60 years old.
  • In addition, the ministry offers for shops to operate in the red zone, but from 07:00 to 20:00, with the number of visitors capped at one person per 20 square meters.