The Covid-19 pandemic is hitting Moscow the hardest by far, with the capital accounting for over half of the national total of 12,000 by this past Friday. Reports indicate that Moscow hospitals are now at maximum capacity. AFP reports:
Moscow’s hospitals and ambulance service are working at peak capacity after a sharp rise in those hospitalized with serious coronavirus complications, a senior city official said Friday.
The densely populated capital with more than 12 million residents has the largest outbreak in Russia, with 7,822 confirmed coronavirus cases out of a national total of almost 12,000.
The number in Moscow’s hospitals has doubled since last week and more than 85% of these patients have pneumonia, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova was quoted as saying on the city virus task force’s Telegram account.
Moscow is not sending people with mild symptoms to hospitals. Those who test positive are monitored through online video consultations.
The city has been on lockdown since the end of March and the mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, is predicting that they have not approached the peak yet.
A new hospital to specifically treat Covid-19 patients, with 500-bed capacity, has been under rush construction and is scheduled to open later this month.
Last week Putin announced that health care workers would receive a pay raise for the duration of the pandemic in recognition of their hard work and sacrifice. More on this and the status of the Covid-19 response in the country can be found in the video below:
China, meanwhile, sent a team of medical experts to Russia on April 11th to assist with the pandemic, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced. According to a TASS news agency report, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui made the following public remarks:
“We won’t forget our friends who helped us. We are ready to do everything possible to help them overcome this crisis. We will express our full gratitude for helping us during a difficult time,” he said.
The ambassador reminded that at the start of the epidemic, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Chinese leader Xi Jinping with words of support, after which Russia sent a military plane with 23 tonnes of medical goods to China. “Now that our friends in the north are facing an epidemiological crisis, we must do our duty,” he said, noting that on April 2, China sent 26 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Russia.