Russia recorded a new record of cases of new coronaviruses detected on Thursday, claiming a great effort of detection intended to prepare a shy deconfinement, in particular in Moscow, where the wearing of the protective mask will be imposed.
A daily record of 11 231 COVID infections- 19 was reached according to figures announced Thursday, while mortality still seems to remain low, with 88 death in 24 hours, bringing the total to 1625.
With now 177 160 identified cases, Russia overtakes France to rank 4th European rank and 5th in the world in number of contaminations, according to the count established by AFP.
But the surge in this figure over the past week can be explained, the authorities assure, by the multiplication of tests carried out – 4.8 million according to the Thursday count – and not by an acceleration of the spread.
The objective of this screening policy is to uncover asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID disease – 19, which are not necessarily counted in other countries due to lack of access to tests, in order to quarantine these patients and thus control the spread of the virus.
For the mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobianin, who heads the national crisis cell as well as in the capital, the sharp increase in the number of people infected is therefore a “very good thing”, even if in terms of daily cases, Russia ranks 2nd in the world behind the United States.
This increased screening also explains, affirm the Russian authorities, the low mortality: with 1625 dead, Russia remains very far from the levels recorded in France (more than 25 000 dead for 174 000 case) and even in Germany (7000 death for 166 000 sick)
Plan for deconfinement
Experts suspect however the Russian statistics to be truncated and that deaths due to COVID – 19 could be attributed other causes.
In addition to its screening policy, Russia explains the low mortality by health measures taken very early, such as the closing of borders and the confinement of the populations deemed most at risk.
Moscow nevertheless remains by far the main focus of the pandemic in this country with 92 676 cases and will therefore extend beyond 12 May, and until an unspecified date, most of the containment measures imposed since 28 March.
Other Russian regions, less affected, should be able to lift some restrictions next week, but deconfinement will have to be slow. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday demanded from each regional entity an “action plan”, while ordering them not to “rush anything”.
“Not for soon”
The only reduction planned in the capital, the resumption of construction sites and work in factories for 500 000 people, in order to relieve some of the companies and some of the employees whose income has melted with social isolation measures.
But this return comes with new restrictions. “From 12 (May), the rules for public transport (from Moscow) will be tightened: masks will have to be worn and gloves “, announced Sergei Sobianin.
The vast majority of the Muscovite population will therefore remain confined, most offices and shops as well as all restaurants and personal services will remain closed.
“The speed at which (we will return to normality) will depend on ourselves, on our discipline. I don't want to play guessing games, but I think that the return to an unrestricted normal life is not coming soon, “he warned.
M. Sobianin has nevertheless noted progress on the medical front.
For the first time since the end of March, “today the number of people leaving the hospital is greater than the number of those recently hospitalized”.