Thousands of new coronavirus cases were diagnosed in Russia by this past weekend – as many as 10,000 according to some reports. It went up another 10,000 this past Tuesday and another 11,000 yesterday. The totals as reported by The Moscow Times on May 7th was 177,160 confirmed cases and 1,625 deaths, with the vast majority occurring in the western part of the country which also has the majority of Russia’s population.
Russia-based journalist Bryan MacDonald offered the following analysis on May 4th to provide perspective on how Russia’s numbers compare to other parts of the world:
If you measure official cases by capita (countries over one million people): Qatar, Spain & Ireland are the worst, and Russia is outside the top 25. In terms of deaths, per capita, Belgium, Spain & Italy are the top 3, and Russia isn’t even in the top 50.
Anna Popova, Russia’s chief public health doctor, said earlier this week that the virus will continue to spread, despite the public measures that have been put in place. Russian news agency TASS reported Popova’s comments:
“Today it’s impossible to completely stop the circulation of the virus, no matter how closed the country is. Anyway, there is some kind of communication, and there are risks of renewal even if there are no viruses left in the country,” Popova said in an interview with Pavel Zarubin on Russia-24 TV channel on Monday.
The head of Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing noted that the restrictions will remain in place in Russia until there is a vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus. “We learn to live in a new way, we learn to live in the environment where there is a virus. By developing certain algorithms, we say that yes, we are removing restrictions here, but at the same time, older people remain at home anyway, people with chronic pathology will still [stay at home],” Popova said.
“The main thing today, what is very important, is that these two weeks and later when restrictions will be lifted after a certain time anyway, people will have to observe all the necessary rules to make this regime milder and milder,” she said.
Expectations are that the virus will peak in the middle of this month.
Yesterday, Putin participated in a video conference in which it was discussed how a gradual reopening of the economy would look. It would happen in 3 stages but there was no date given for when it would be implemented or how long each stage would last. There is a 3-minute video about it below: