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Ukraine criminalizes counterfeit COVID certificates

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The use and creation of fake vaccination certificates against COVID-19 is subject to criminal prosecution and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment under new legislation passed at first reading in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Kiev has delayed the supply of vaccines and is now struggling to persuade its skeptical population to accept them, although they are mandatory for some government officials in the “red” zones as well. In Kiev, only vaccinated or carriers of negative COVID can visit restaurants and gyms, as well as travel by public transport.

This has led to a boom in the black market for certificates and police are conducting hundreds of investigations into such cases, writes Reuters.

“The lack of responsibility for such crimes creates conditions for further falsification of documents,” said Health Minister Viktor Lyashko, adding that this “creates an immediate threat to the lives and health of Ukrainian citizens.”

The bill provides for a fine of up to $ 2,600 or two to three years in prison for knowingly using false documents for vaccination or for entering forged data into medical records. Preparation of fake certificates of sale will be punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of $ 6,460.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Ukraine, 2.96 million cases of COVID-19 have been registered and 68,727 have died. only about 7.5 million people, less than 20% of the population, are fully vaccinated.

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