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UPDATE 1-Ukraine to expand COVID hospitals as daily tally surpasses 5,000

(Adds government comments, details, file photos available)

KYIV, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Ukraine will open more hospitals to accept patients with the novel coronavirus infection amid a recent spike in new cases, the government said on Friday.

Ukraine registered a record 5,804 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the national security council said on Friday, up from a previous record of 5,397 new cases reported on Thursday.

The government said in a statement that Prime Minister Denys Smygal had ordered Health Minister Maksym Stepanov to start preparation for expanding the number of hospitals for coronavirus cases because more than 20,000 out of 31,927 beds had been occupied already in the country.

The minister said at least 900 patients with confirmed coronavirus infections were admitted to hospitals daily, and in some regions medical capacity was full completely.

The daily tally in Ukraine climbed to a record level for the third day in a row, bringing the total number of cases of coronavirus infection to 250,538 with 4,779 deaths, including 89 in the past 24 hours.

A total number of patients who have recovered since the start of the pandemic stood at 110,650.

The government is also mulling ways to toughen lockdown measures, which have been gradually eased since June to help the economy that plunged 11.4% in the second quarter. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Nick Zieminski)

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