KYIV, Nov 12 - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been hospitalized for COVID-19 after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this week, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
Zelenskiy announced Monday that he had become infected with the virus, saying he felt good and promising to self-isolate while continuing to work. On Monday, Zelenskiy said he was running a temperature of 37.5 Celsius (99.5 Fahrenheit).
The hospitalization comes a day after the government has issued ‘weekend lockdown’ order in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of the pandemic that had crippled the economy and killed 8,947 people.
A spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the Ukraine president's symptoms were "nothing serious" but that he was being moved to a hospital in Kyiv because "there are better conditions for self-isolation and care for coronavirus patients."
The Ukrainian president's chief of staff, defense minister and finance minister have also tested positive for the virus, the AP reports.
"All the procedures are quite strict and are regulated by the protocol. They are at the Feofania hospital. A special office has been equipped there to enable the president to hold conferences. He has held a large number of conference calls today," Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff, told Ukrayinska Pravda.
Zelenskiy joins several other world leaders who have contracted the coronavirus, notably President Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
Ukraine’s ‘weekend lockdown’ order will stay in effect through November 30 to stop “the progressive geometric development of the pandemic in Ukraine without stopping the economy,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said Wednesday.
The new measures restricting social activity on weekends and holidays, reducing capacity of passenger transportation and shutting down night life entertainment, bars and restaurants.
On Thursday morning, 11,057 new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were recorded in Ukraine, up from 10,611 on Wednesday, according to Health Minister Maksym Stepanov.
Ukraine may start running out of hospital beds if the number of daily cases reaches 20,000, and that will require new emergency measures, including potentially usage of sports facilities to accommodate patients.
Ukraine, like the U.S. and a number of European countries, has experienced a wave of new coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths in recent weeks. (ap/tl/ez)