Ukraine reports record high virus deaths

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Ukraine has registered a record daily high of 333 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Maksym Stepanov says.

The previous high of 289 deaths was on March 17.

The former Soviet republic of 41 million people has been hit by a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks that Prime Minister Denys Shmygal has said is the third wave of the pandemic.

Stepanov on Tuesday said 11,476 new infections were reported in the past 24 hours. Ukraine has reported a total of 1,565,732 coronavirus cases and 30,431 deaths.

Last week new coronavirus infections spiked to 15,850 cases, the highest level in the Ukraine since November, prompting the capital Kyiv and several regions to impose a tight lockdown.

The lockdown echoes similar measures to be introduced by Lviv, the largest city in the west of the country, on Friday including closures of cafes, restaurants, non-food stores and a ban on public events.

Critics blame the pandemic surge in Ukraine on a lack of uniform nationwide lockdown measures and patchy compliance with social distancing and mask-wearing rules.