KYIV -- Kyiv authorities say they will close schools and kindergartens and restrict public transport from April 5, as the Ukrainian capital faces a dramatic rise in coronavirus infections and related deaths.
"We have no other option. Otherwise, there will be hundreds of deaths every day," Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on March 31.
Starting next week, all schools and kindergartens will remain closed while Kyiv public transport will operate on special passenger passes for those working for critical infrastructure enterprises.
The Ukrainian capital has the highest infection rate in the country of 41 million people.
According to Klitschko, Kyiv COVID-19-dedicated hospitals were 80 percent full.
Earlier on March 31, the authorities reported a record daily high of 407 coronavirus-related deaths over the previous 24 hours.
A total of 11,226 new infections were recorded, raising the total to more than 1,674,000 since the pandemic began more than a year ago. Nearly 33,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Ukraine.
A total of 231,564 people had received the first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by March 31, according to the Health Ministry.
Ukraine last month received 500,000 doses of CoviShield, the Indian version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 215,000 doses of China's Sinovac jab.
Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said the country would receive 4.9 million more doses over the next two months.
Kyiv To Close Schools, Kindergartens, Restrict Transport Amid Sharp Rise In Infections, Deaths