Ukraine reports record daily COVID-19 deaths for second day in a row

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker wearing protective gear stands next to an ambulance outside a hospital for patients infected with COVID-19 in Kyiv, Ukraine, November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine registered a record daily high of 421 coronavirus-related deaths over 24 hours for the second day in a row, health minister Maksym Stepanov said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Ukraine reported 407 deaths and Stepanov told the government infections were likely to rise further over the next one to two weeks.

Stepanov said 17,569 new infections were reported over the past day and a record high 5,160 people were hospitalised. On Wednesday, Ukraine reported 11,226 new cases, far below the record 18,132 cases last week.

Ukrainian capital Kyiv, which is still leading in the number of new infections, will impose a strict lockdown from April 5, restricting public transport, closing all schools and kindergartens.

The city has already banned public events, closed cafes and restaurants in an attempt to stop a new wave of disease.

Many Ukrainian regions have also imposed strict lockdown.

Ukraine has reported a total of 1,691,737 coronavirus cases and 33,246 deaths.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill