REUTERS

Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says lockdown on Christmas holidays could be introduced in the event of a rapid increase in daily COVID-19 cases.

"Any curbs are introduced only from the point of view of epidemiology, based on the spread pace. We look at it and say that we could have a lockdown. And we talk about this constantly," he told Ukraine 24 TV channel.

The minister explained that from the point of view of epidemiology, "the best method is to cut the chain of transmission for three weeks," and then, he believes, the country will see a certain effect.

Nevertheless, Stepanov says any restrictions are set up by government talking into account both epidemic and economic indicators.

Read also"Plan B": PM Shmyhal confirms preparations for lockdown, but no date yet"And when we offer a lockdown, [we look into] calculations of the Economy Ministry on whether we can withstand it. We proceed from these things and are looking for balance. But there may be circumstances when we have to do this anyway to save lives," Stepanov said.

When asked, who would be most affected by lockdown, he said "the disease doesn't choose."

"Quarantine will affect everyone, without exception, as it was in spring. As for working it out, we understand such a tough quarantine will hit the economy regardless of when it's introduced," Stepanov said.

On November 24, Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko announced he would offer the Cabinet of Ministers to introduce a lockdown in the country during the New Year and Christmas holidays.

Weekend quarantine in Ukraine

  • On November 11, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to introduce the so-called weekend quarantine starting from November 14.
  • The government repealed the adaptive quarantine system and imposed a nationwide quarantine with curbs for all territories that were in effect in the previous version of the coronavirus quarantine in zones with the orange risk level.
  • On November 17, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, did not back a draft resolution recommending that the Ukrainian government soften the restrictions imposed along with the so-called weekend quarantine.