RUSSIA’S coronavirus caseload passed a quarter of a million on Thursday, although new infections over the last 24 hours dropped under 10,000 for the first time in two weeks.
Russia reported a rise of 9,974 compared with the previous day, according to a federal monitoring service.
The total caseload has risen dramatically in the past month and a half, from about 2,700 registered cases on April 1.
This week Russia became the nation with the world’s second-highest total behind the U.S., according to comparative data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Amid an apparent plateau in the infection rate, senior officials are now seeking to lift quarantine restrictions that have devastated the economy.
Russian domestic economic activities have declined by about one-third since lockdown quarantine measures were widely imposed in late March, according to federal government statistics reported last week.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted restrictions on allowing the general public to go to work this week, delegating to regional officials the responsibility of determining when to lift stricter quarantine measures at the local level.
The capital, Moscow, and its surrounding region, which have reported about half of the caseload, have a lockdown in place until the end of this month, with residents advised to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said last week that the actual number of cases in the city is probably about 300,000, three times higher than reported.
Russia’s prime minister, culture minister and construction minister, as well as Putin’s spokesperson, have all reported they have contracted the virus.
Russia is likely to undergo two more waves of infections before a vaccine is ready or before the population acquires herd immunity, a senior health official said this week in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
“We rely on collective immunity against any viral respiratory infection,” said Alexander Gorelov of Russia’s Central Research Institute of Epidemiology.
– May 14, 2020 @ 14:25 GMT |