Photo from UNIAN

Ukraine's Chief Medical Officer, Deputy Health Minister Viktor Liashko says a significant increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ukraine is due to the gradual easing of quarantine restrictions across country.

"Ukraine has one of the best 'balances', that is from 10,000 to 30,000 [COVID-19 cases]. However, we have recently seen a significant spike, exceeding the global one. But how come? ... There is no clear trend of 'more tests run – more cases recorded'. The larger number of tests does increase the number of active cases, but this doesn't mean that the situation depends solely on testing as it depends on several factors," Liashko told a briefing on June 18.

According to the health official, the trend stems directly from the easing of the nationwide lockdown.

Read alsoUkraine may re-impose strict quarantine in some regions from June 22

"The first stage of relaxation started on May 12. After that we talked about the second, third, and fourth stages. Public transport resumed services on May 22. Subways and kindergartens reopened on May 25. We understand that the incubation period is 14 days, but the largest number of cases is recorded from the fifth to seventh days within that period. And we clearly see the trend toward the increase in the number of cases after Ukraine started to ease the quarantine and switched to a containment strategy," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, there were 34,063 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ukraine as of 09:00 Kyiv time on June 18. They include 966 deaths and 15,447 recoveries. Some 829 new cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.