The increase in daily cases – the first time Russia recorded more than 17,000 on a single day on Friday – brought the total number of such confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses to 1,480,646 in the country. Russia is the fourth worst country in the world by number of confirmed infections.
Despite the number of new cases and deaths reported daily compared to spring, Russia’s government has refused to follow some European countries. Earlier this year, strict, national measures to slow the spread of the deadly virus proved effective, but they have taken a severe toll on economies and societies.
President Vladimir Putin said in television remarks earlier this week, “Regarding the possibility of serious, total, restrictive measures, we do not plan to do so. The government has no such plans.”
The Kremlin’s official spokesman said on Friday that the president had not changed his mind on the matter.
Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “The situation is under control. It is not easy, it is tense, but it is under control.”
Moscow, the country’s largest capital with a population of around 12 million, has been one of the hardest hit regions. In Moscow alone, 5,478 new cases were reported on Friday. But the virus is also spreading to less developed areas, pulling local health systems beyond their capacity.
A horrific video has surfaced on Russian social media this week showing dozens of dead bodies in black plastic bags in the basement hallway of the Siberian Hospital. The video, on October 17, shows bags on the floor and on garnis. The anonymous person who shot the video, which was previously uploaded to the Telegram messaging app, says all the bodies belong to COVID-19 patients.
The clip has since been widely shared on Twitter and other platforms, including the local office of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s foundation (above).
The Altai region’s Ministry of Health confirmed the authenticity of the video, saying it showed scenes from inside a dedicated coronavirus hospital in the city of Barnaul. According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, the hospital was initially equipped with 360 beds, but as the number of COVID-19 patients increased to 600 beds.
Several hospital employees, including its chief physician and his deputy, have also contracted COVID-19.
Regional officials said the dead body in the basement was the result of a shortage of available pathologists amid the current surge in coronovirus deaths. Russian authorities require autopsy on all people who die after testing positive for coronavirus.
The report said that 98 people have died in the hospital this month.
Asked if the Kremlin was aware of a shortage of both doctors and beds for COVID-19 patients outside Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said on Friday that “in the regions, prepared for the possible eradication of the epidemic” Measures were taken in advance to do, “which we are now seeing. ”
He did not elaborate.