Cases of the Chinese coronavirus in the Russian-Ukrainian war front of Donetsk have spiked by a record amount in recent days, according to local media.
Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported that the Head of Ukraine-controlled Donetsk Regional State Administration, Pavlo Kyrylenko, confirmed that the number of newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the region rose by 42 as of the evening of Sunday, June 14, a record spike since the onset of the pandemic.
A total of 334 people in the Donetsk region, where Ukrainian and Russian forces are still battling for territory, have now contracted the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic this year, whose ages range from five years old to 80. At least 143 patients have reportedly recovered and been discharged or given the all-clear from local hospitals, while six people have died from the virus.
Of the newly infected, eight people live in the town of Kramatorsk, where the virus appears to be spreading aggressively. The other hotspot is the city of Mariupol, which has the highest number of cases across the region, with over 100 residents now having contracted the virus.
Some people have attributed the rise in cases to the number of tests now being carried out, although this idea has been rejected by the country’s Health Ministry.
“A significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 started in our country last week when we crossed the threshold and began to set anti-records – over 600 and 753 [daily] cases last week,” Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said at a press briefing on Tuesday. “We think this is because people took the easing of quarantine measures for the complete lifting of all restrictions that exist in the country, as they completely neglect the recommendations made by the Health Ministry.”
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he considered intentionally infecting himself with the coronavirus intentionally to prove that it was not as serious an illness as many people feared.
“I wanted to go through this stage myself. To make sure people perceive it less stressfully,” Zelensky told Ukrainian Pravda “When we had a moment of depression, we gathered. I suggested the team: ‘Let me get infected and be immediately isolated on Bankova [The Office of the President]. And I’ll get through this alright.’ So that people understand it really is scary, you can get sick, you do feel bad. And I will let this go through me and show them.”
“But at the same time, people will understand that it’s no plague,” he continued. “That’s to make sure they aren’t depressed. At the very onset, there was a very scary moment when people thought we would all die.”
Zelensky eventually decided against the idea on the grounds that it would upset his family. However, it now appears that he may not have a choice in the matter after news broke that his wife, First Lady Olena Zelenska, was taken to hospital in Kyiv Tuesday after contracting the virus herself. Her condition is reportedly stable.