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Iran Press TV

Ukraine approves China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine as cases hit new record high

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 03 April 2021 4:23 PM

Ukraine has approved China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to combat the persisting coronavirus pandemic, after the country saw a record rise in new cases of the contagious disease for the second day in a row.

"As part of the vaccinations against COVID-19, Ukraine will use the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac Biotech," Ukraine's health ministry said in a statement on Saturday, adding, "The vaccines of the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech can be trusted."

Last month, Ukraine imported the first batch of 215,000 Sinovac doses in an attempt to strengthen its vaccination program, which has already lagged behind many other European countries. So far, Kiev has relied on a single batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from India.

However, authorities had postponed using the Chinese vaccine, arguing that its local supplier had not provided the required paperwork and that the vaccine was in need of additional laboratory checks.

The European country is now busy tightening lockdown restrictions in its worst-hit areas as COVID-19 cases have increased following a winter lull.

The capital Kiev will also see a strict lockdown from Monday with its public transport restricted and all schools and kindergartens closed. Public events have already been banned and cafes and restaurants have been closed in the city, home to some three million people, in an attempt to halt the new wave.

Health Minister Maksym Stepanov on Saturday announced that the country had recorded a record increase of 20,341 new infections over the preceding 24 hours.

He added that 5,186 people had also been hospitalized during the said period, and 396 others had lost their lives, bringing the total death toll since the onset of the pandemic to 34,075 in the country of 41 million people.

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