Health Minister Stepanov warns about COVID-19 surge after holidays / REUTERS

Ukrainian Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says he is concerned about a possible surge in new COVID-19 cases after New Year holidays.

"I will say frankly: we are now looking at all our holidays with great concern over a [possible] outbreak after them," the minister said at a briefing on December 16.

Stepanov agrees COVID-19 statistics are worrisome, but the number of discharged patients exceeds that of new hospitalizations.

Read alsoOver 10,600 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Ukraine as of Dec 16The minister also mentioned an increase in available hospital beds with supplied oxygen since there are "preparations for various COVID-19 scenarios."

Moreover, Stepanov urged citizens to continue to comply with the quarantine rules and avoid large gatherings of people on New Year's and Christmas holidays.

COVID-19 in Ukraine: Latest developments

  • The Ukrainian government at an extraordinary meeting on December 9 adopted a decision to put Ukraine on lockdown January 8 through January 24, 2021. Restrictions will concern restaurants, cafés, cinemas, concerts, and gyms.
  • Mass events during this period will be held without spectators.
  • Lockdown will be introduced after the New Year and Orthodox Christmas, taking into account the possibility of earnings for small businesses in the "most profitable" month, i.e. December.
  • Also, the so-called orange quarantine zone will be in effect in the country until the end of winter.