KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine on Tuesday hit another record for daily coronavirus deaths amid a spike in infections fueled by public reluctance to get a vaccine.
The Health Ministry reported 833 coronavirus deaths over the past day, surpassing the previous high of 793 over the weekend and bringing the country's total confirmed Covid-19 deaths to 73,390. The nation of 41 million people also registered 18,988 new daily infections in the last day.
Although four vaccines are available in Ukraine — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Sinovac — only 18% of the population has been fully vaccinated. That is Europe’s second-lowest rate after Armenia.
In an effort to speed up vaccine uptake, the authorities required teachers, government employees and other workers to get fully vaccinated by Nov. 8 or have their salaries suspended.
On Tuesday, the government also ordered workers of state-controlled companies, including railways and the postal service, as well as social workers to get vaccinated by Dec. 1.
Ukrainian authorities also have started requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test results for people boarding planes, trains and long-distance buses.
New government regulations and restrictions have spawned a booming black market for counterfeit vaccine documents. Fake vaccination certificates are selling for the equivalent of $100-300, and there have been reports of a fake version of a government digital app with fake certificates already installed.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday that Ukrainian police have set up 1,400 mobile units to track down counterfeit vaccine documents.
By YURAS KARMANAU Associated Press