UNIAN, Viacheslav Ratynskyi

With the existing share of hospitalized patients among all those infected with COVID-19 in Ukraine, a full-blown lockdown in Ukraine can be introduced once the daily incidence reaches 30,000, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says.

A full-fledged lockdown quarantine across the country would be required specifically in case the health care system faces collapse. In Ukraine, this may be the case when the number of new daily cases will remain at some 30,000 for several consecutive days, Stepanov told one of Ukraine's TV channels, Ukrayinska Pravda reports.

"If there is a threat of a complete collapse of the health care system, we will insist on introducing stricter quarantine," Stepanov said, adding that this would be done to prevent overload.

Earlier, Stepanov said that strict quarantine is possible if up to 20,000 new daily cases were reported every day, while hospital load, including of makeshift hospitals, would reach 100%.

At the same time, on October 22, President Volodymyr Zelensky said a total lockdown would have to be introduced if the number of new daily cases reached 15,000.

Read alsoAnalysts forecast from 17,000 to 33,000 COVID-19 deaths in Ukraine by year-endCoronavirus in Ukraine: Latest

In the past day, 14,575 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, while 229 patients died.

Since the onset of the pandemic, 598,085 people fell ill in Ukraine; 274,324 recovered, and 10,598 died. A total of 4,108,825 PCR tests have been run so far.

Weekend quarantine

On November 11, the Cabinet decided to introduce weekend quarantine in the country from November 14 to 30. It is enforced from 00:00 Saturday to 00:00 Monday.

In particular, on weekends, along with restrictions provided for on weekdays, bans have been imposed on cafes and restaurants (except takeaway), shopping malls and entertainment facilities, fitness centers, and the like. Grocery stores, pharmacies, veterinary pharmacies, post offices, medical facilities, and gas stations shall remain open.

The new bans sparked discontent among owners and staff of the businesses banned for the weekend.

Read alsoUkraine should run 220,000 PCR tests for COVID-19 daily – analystsMayors of a number of cities defied the government instruction to introduce weekend quarantine.

On November 17, the Verkhovna Rada failed to back a draft resolution to recommend the Cabinet to ease quarantine restrictions imposed on businesses over weekends.