KIEV, October 9. /TASS/. The health ministry of Ukraine is preparing to set up temporary hospitals for COVID-19 patients amid the latest spike in novel coronavirus cases registered in the country, Health Minister Maxim Stepanov said in a video address, posted on Facebook on Thursday.
"We have already begun preparations for opening temporary hospitals for COVID-19 patinets," the minister said.
According to the official, the country currently has about 37,000 hospital beds for coronavirus patients, and some 21,000 of them are already occupied.
"A total of 5,397 COVID-19 cases were registered in the past day, and about a thousand of patients were hospitalized. Hospitals are filling up very quickly," the minister continued. "The situation is similar to those observed in Spain and Italy this spring, when even European healthcare systems failed to cope with such pressure."
At the same time, the minister admitted that the country cannot afford imposing tough quarantine restrictions to contain the disease, as European states did.
"We see Western countries bracing for the second cycle of lockdowns. However, the economy of those countries can survive it, albeit with certain difficulties. But as far as the economy of Ukraine is concerned, it will be a disaster," Stepanov said.
He called upon Ukrainian residents and local authorities to behave responsibly and observe anti-coronavirus measures "in order to slow down the spread of the disease and reduce the pressure on hospitals and doctors."
"The danger is serious, and no one has the right to neglect people’s lives and health," he said.
The first case of the novel coronavirus was registered in Ukraine on March 3. Since then, 244,734 people have been diagnosed with the illness. In the past few days, daily coronavirus figures in the country ranged between 3,000 and 4,500 cases. On Thursday, the daily case count hit the all-time high, exceeding 5,000.