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Jakarta Post

Ukraine shuts down transport, public spaces

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Kiev, Ukraine   /   Tue, March 17, 2020   /   09:36 am
Ukraine shuts down transport, public spaces A Ukrainian border guard searches a car at the Goptivka checkpoint, near Kharkiv on the Ukrainian-Russian border, on Monday. Ukraine said Friday it would close its borders to foreigners for at least two weeks and stop all flights to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, as it reported its first COVID-19 fatality. (AFP/Sergey Bobok)

Ukraine late on Monday announced shutdowns of public transport, bars, restaurants and shopping malls to stem the spread of the coronavirus after President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to act "harshly, urgently, perhaps unpopularly".

The government supported Zelensky's proposals and introduced restrictions on domestic movement, including full closure of the country's three metro systems -- in Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnipro -- until April 3.

The government also banned mass events with more than ten people participating.

Ukraine has officially confirmed seven cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and one death. Two new cases were confirmed in Kiev late Monday.

Ukraine has already implemented drastic preventative measures including banning entry to foreigners, and it will stop all flights to and from the country from Tuesday. 

It has also closed schools and universities and banned major public events.

"We need to buy time. We must reduce the chances of the virus spreading through the capital," Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in a statement earlier the day.

Ukraine's other major cities, from Lviv in the west to the southern port of Odessa, have closed museums and swimming pools.

The country's parliament is to hold an extraordinary session on Tuesday to consider further steps.