As social life in Ukraine is shut down with bars and restaurants being closed all around the country amid the coronavirus outbreak, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the nation to spend their free time usefully – fighting the country’s demographic crisis.
“Stay at home, read books, watch movies. As for young people... We have one crisis, but no one has canceled the demographic crisis in Ukraine. I think the time has come to fight this problem too,” he said in an interview with ICTV TV-channel.
Many doctors all around the globe already predicted a baby boom due to the coronavirus outbreak as many young people find themselves with no choice but to stay in as bars and restaurants are closed.
Ukraine late on Monday announced shutdowns of public transport, bars, restaurants and shopping malls to stem the spread of the coronavirus after Zelenskiy threatened to act "harshly, urgently, perhaps unpopularly."
The government supported Zelenskiy's proposals and introduced restrictions on domestic movement, including full closure of the country's three metro systems – in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro – until April 3.
The government also banned mass events with more than 10 people participating.
Ukraine has officially confirmed seven cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus and one death. Two new cases were confirmed in Kyiv late Monday.
Ukraine has already implemented drastic preventative measures including banning entry to foreigners, and it planned to stop all flights to and from the country beginning Tuesday.
It has also closed schools and universities and banned major public events.
"We need to buy time. We must reduce the chances of the virus spreading through the capital," Kyiv Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said in a statement earlier in the day.
Ukraine's other major cities, from Lviv in the west to the southern port of Odessa, have closed museums and swimming pools.
The country's parliament is to hold an extraordinary session on Tuesday to consider further steps.
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