The son of President Volodymyr Zelensky had contracted COVID-19, but already recovered, the president said at a briefing in Mykolaiv on Aug. 21.  

Zelensky admitted that his 7-year-old son Kyrylo got infected with the novel coronavirus at the same time when his wife Olena Zelenska contracted the disease and was hospitalized in July. Both mother and son were at the same hospital.

“No one is afraid of it until it reaches your family,” the president said. “I will speak plainly — this coronavirus is a real plague. There is no other word for it. My wife was affected, and so was my son.”

The president has once again appealed to Ukrainians who have stopped taking the pandemic seriously to treat his case as a cautionary tale. He urged Ukrainians to always wear face masks in public places.


Back in June, when the Ukrainian authorities began to lift restrictions, Zelensky admitted that he was seriously considering contracting coronavirus on purpose to portray its severity to the public and make people believe the pandemic was real.

“I want people to be more careful,” Zelensky said in today’s speech, “an increased number of hospitalizations would cripple our healthcare right away. The government would be powerless.” 

Zelensky’s appeal comes just a day after Ukraine saw its biggest rise in the number of coronavirus cases — 2,134 new infections were reported on Aug. 20.

Maksym Stepanov, Ukraine’s health minister, complained on Aug. 12 that the increased rate of hospitalization in some regions of Ukraine has made the occupancy of the first-wave hospitals rise by more than 50%. 

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