The Russian Army is sending medics to an area in the Urals that has been hit by an increase in COVID-19 cases, and its government could provide up to 10 billion rubles (9169 million CDN) in regional support in recent times. .
President Vladimir Putin expressed concern over the situation in some areas, speaking at a meeting with senior officials on Wednesday. Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said more than 90 percent of hospital beds were in 16 areas.
The ministry said in a statement issued by Russian news agencies that Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had ordered aid to be sent to the Kurgan region, 1,970 kilometers east of Moscow. The move comes as doctors there have publicly appealed to Putin for help, citing a critical shortage.
Russia has seen a rise in new coronavirus cases in recent weeks. On Wednesday, there were 16,202 new infections and 346 deaths, officials said.
“A team of military medical experts will be sent there to provide counseling assistance and treatment to coronavirus patients at medical institutions in the area,” the ministry said.
Last week, medical experts in Kurgan called on President Vladimir Putin to send troops, citing a shortage of hospital space, staff and overloaded ambulances in a letter published on the local news site ura.news.
See | Russia’s health system hit by COVID-19 surge:
Other parts of Russia are also under intense pressure, according to local media reports. Two ambulances took patients to the local health ministry in the Siberian city of Omsk after all ambulances were fully recovered, local news website ngs55.ru said on Tuesday.
During a meeting with Putin, Finance Minister Anton Siluvanov said the government would take a decision on Thursday to allocate enough funds to send 10 billion rubles to the affected areas.
Moscow extends sanctions
In Moscow, Russia’s most affected region, new cases have dropped to a minimum since October 8, with 3,760 infections reported.
Consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said the condition was stable and that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 ranged from 1,100 to 1,200 per day, according to the Interfax news agency.
However, authorities there have extended the remote working hours for businesses until November 29, as well as online learning for secondary school students until November 8.
“There is no need to introduce new sanctions today,” said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. “But at the same time, it’s time to soften existing sanctions, as they could lead to instability.”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov entered self-isolation on Tuesday after making contact with a man who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Lavrov, 70, who has served as the country’s top diplomat for more than 16 years, is in good health, but the State Department has postponed his official visits and meetings.
Russia became the first country in August to issue regulatory approval for the vaccine after less than two months of human testing. Large-scale trials are now underway. Regulators approved a second vaccine earlier this month.
The death toll from Russia’s COVID-19 rose to nearly 27,000 on Wednesday. It reported 1,563,976 infections, the fourth largest in the world after the United States, India and Brazil.