MOSCOW – Russia on Tuesday reported record high daily coronavirus cases and deaths, resulting in a total of 1,226,178 people, but authorities said they had no plans to block the huge country.
Anna Popova, head of the consumer safety supervisor Rospotrebnadzor, said on Tuesday that Russia did not need to impose restrictions on economic activity in response to the jump in cases.
“Despite the growing number of cases, today in Russia we are not talking about blocking the economy, stopping some economic activities, some sectors of the economy, because we see no reason to do so,” Popova said in comments to Russian news agencies.
Her comments come a day after the Kremlin said Russia could afford to be more flexible in its response to COVID-1
Speaking to reporters Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had more room to maneuver than earlier in the pandemic due to better treatment, more hospital beds and a proven anti-virus system.
Deputy Health Minister Oleg Gridnev said on Tuesday that nearly 90 per cent of hospital beds for patients with COVID-19 were currently occupied, TASS reported. He added, however, that 20 percent of hospitalized patients have mild symptoms and can be sent home.
Alexander Gorelov, deputy director of a research institute at Rospotrebnadzor, said he expected the number of coronavirus infections to increase in about 20 days, RIA reported.
Moscow, the capital, is hardest hit by COVID-19. The city of nearly 13 million, which registered 4,618 new cases on Tuesday, opened two temporary hospitals and ordered businesses to have at least 30 percent of the staff working remotely.
The official coronavirus working group said on Tuesday that the country had registered a record high increase of 13,868 cases and 244 deaths in the last 24 hours. Russia has registered 22,966 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
With a total of 1,326,178 cases, the country with about 145 million has the fourth largest number of infections in the world, behind the United States, India and Brazil.