Russia’s coronavirus caseload jumps by about 1,000 over 24 hours


Russia reported nearly 1,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, its largest jump since the pandemic began, as regions throughout the country maintain lockdown quarantine measures.

The reported cases rose by 11 per cent, or 954, to 6,343, according to official figures. There have been at least 47 deaths linked with the virus in the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has advised the public to stay home for the rest of the month and only go outside when absolutely necessary.

“We have not yet passed the peak of the epidemic in the world and in our country,” Putin said in a nationally televised speech last week.

Most of the country’s regions have imposed lockdown quarantine measures, following the lead of Moscow, which has the most recorded cases.

Putin until recently had been cultivating an image of being at the forefront of efforts to combat the crisis, including donning a hazmat suit to personally visit patients at Moscow’s Kommunarka hospital.

Putin is now working remotely, his spokesman said last week. A top doctor at that hospital, Denis Protsenko, with whom Putin had shaken hands during the visit, has tested positive for the virus.

Last week another facility specializing in treating the coronavirus opened at Moscow’s Pirogov hospital as the case count in Russia’s largest city continues to rise.

The Pirogov Centre has an initial capacity for 250 coronavirus patients, general director Oleg Karpov said.

“We understand that in fulfilling the main task our employees are at great risk,” Karpov told dpa on Monday.

Medical staff are being given drugs to strengthen their immune system as a prophylactic measure, he said.

Staff members are to be tested for the virus several times a week and provided living quarters at the facility to minimize the potential for spreading the disease.

The staff have undergone an intense training programme to prepare for working within the necessary protective gear, Karpov said, as such gear can “complicate and limit” the work that can be performed. . (dpa/NAN)