Zelensky believes weekend quarantine is 'right step,' aid programs need to be improved
The weekend quarantine has reduced movement and contacts between Ukrainians, which is the right step on the part of the Ukrainian authorities, since decreasing contacts between people helps to save their lives, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
"I believe that Ukraine has taken the right step. The World Health Organization said the largest number of new cases of infection are recorded over the weekend. Reducing contacts between people is saving lives. At the same time, it is necessary to restore and improve all programs of economic support to entrepreneurs, workers who have lost job, lonely people," Zelensky said at a traditional conference call on preventing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which he chaired on Monday.
During the meeting, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov cited data according to which the activity of citizens in large cities with a population of more than 100,000 decreased by 18.5% on Saturday, and by 27% on Sunday.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that over the weekend, almost all large chains of shopping centers, non-food stores, entertainment establishments were closed, and the police worked to prevent possible crowds. Difficult situations in certain areas have arisen with food markets.
Shmyhal said that the government is already implementing and preparing additional measures to support businesses and people who have lost part of their income due to the weekend quarantine.
"In particular, we are restoring support for small entrepreneurs with children, a partial unemployment program, when part of a worker's salary is compensated. 'Repayment holidays' will also be in effect for businesses under the Affordable Loans 5-7-9% program, recognition of the weekend quarantine as force majeure, which will help business in the issue of rent and fulfillment of other obligations," the prime minister said.
He also said that a number of meetings have already been held with the business, which was limited in work due to the weekend quarantine. Over the next few days, this work will be intensified, with meetings with representatives from each industry.
The government is also actively working to improve insurance programs for medical workers. In particular, Minister for Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine Oleksiy Chernyshov said a medical worker who is fighting against COVID-19 is equated to a military man, and now, in addition to payments in case of disability or death, support programs in case of illness are being developed in different regions.
Deputy Head of the President's Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko said that after the presidential decree to carefully work out this issue, the development of insurance programs has intensified, and some regions have already insured 60-70% of doctors, in particular Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Kyiv, Volyn and other regions.