KYIV – As Christians of the Eastern Churches prepared to celebrate Easter on April 19 (according to the Julian calendar), there was concern that potential large crowds of worshippers could further spread COVID-19. According to Ukraine’s Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov, the number of those infected with the novel coronavirus had grown significantly after Palm Sunday services held a week earlier.
This fact compelled the government to focus on preventing crowds on Easter. According to the National Police, about 7.5 million citizens took part in religious services last year on Easter. If a tenth of the faithful came to churches this year, Ukraine could suffer another coronavirus outbreak, according to the director of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Communication Department, Artem Shevchenko.