Health Ministry of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov stated that the mitigation of quarantine in some cities was a political decision of local authorities. The city heads did not consult with the Health Ministry, as 112 Ukraine TV channel reported.
According to the minister, it is necessary to analyze the situation with the spread of the virus and consult with the virologists or specialists to mitigate the lockdown.
“The arguments, used by particular mayors of the cities are unknown to me. At least, nobody appealed to us for consultation or to specialists at the local levels. That is why, probably, it is a purely political decision with the clear understanding that starting from May 11, everyone knows and we told it repeatedly that we will offer the mitigation of quarantine events,” Stepanov said.
Besides, he noted that according to the law, the imposing of quarantine in the territory of the country is the prerogative of the Cabinet of Ministers.
“It is, from the point of view, the violation of the law at least because the bodies of local self-government do not have such authorities,” Stepanov added.
On April 30, Cherkasy mayor Anatoliy Bondarenko ordered to weaken the lockdown measures in the city, allowing the citizens to visit parks and most of the shops. President Zelensky, in his address, promised "legal consequences" for such a decision. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov claimed that the response to the weakening of the lockdown in Cherkasy will be a "tough one."
As we reported before, the Minister of Health of Ukraine Maksym Stepanov arrived with a check in Cherkasy in connection with the decision of the city council to cancel quarantine measures.
On May 2, Mayor Anatoliy Bondarenko also said the central government was "afraid of mayors of regional capitals", and the decisions that could be made by the local authority. The same day, the mayor was summoned for interrogation due to the premature mitigation of the quarantine in the city.
Besides, residents of Cherkasy witnessed an increased security mode, as military vehicles and patrol units of the National Guard appeared on the streets. Earlier, the local citizens were urged to come and support their mayor Anatoliy Bondarenko. It was assumed that the government could fear resistance and mass protests in the city, which is why the military stepped in.