Russia began a cautious regional deconfinement on Tuesday, relying on the low mortality linked to COVID – 19 on its territory, even if she again recorded more than 10 000 additional cases in 24 hours of contamination with the new coronavirus.
In several less affected regions, we were able to reopen on Tuesday certain businesses such as beauty salons but most public places remained closed, restaurants included, while gatherings are prohibited until further notice.
Thus, in Bachkortostan (Urals), the regional leader Radi Khabirov announced the daytime reopening “of the banks, quays and parks”. Magadan, in the Far East, has authorized individual outdoor sports activities.
In Moscow, the main source of the epidemic in Russia, almost general confinement remains in force and the wearing of a mask and protective gloves was made compulsory as of Tuesday in public transport and supermarkets .
With 232 243 cases since the start of the epidemic, including 10 899 recorded in the last 24 Hours, this country is among the three or four most affected.
Since the beginning of May, more than 10 243 cases that are listed daily, an evolution that the authorities explain by a policy of massive screening, with 5.8 million tests, according to the count of the day.
Relative to the number of cases, that of the dead, 2116, however remains low, far from the levels encountered in Italy, France and even in Germany, a country cited as an example for its management of the crisis.
Affected by the new coronavirus after Western Europe, Russia assures that if it has a lower mortality, it is also because it ordered in March the confinement of travelers from affected countries as well as populations at risk and reorganized its hospital system.
Critics nevertheless judge that the deaths of several thousand people have not been taken into account, suspecting the authorities of attributing other causes to the deaths of patients with COVID – 19.
In this context, Vladimir Putin ordered a slow regionalized deconfinement, “step by step”, “conscientious” and depending on the epidemiological situation. And it put an end to a paid national unemployment period established at the end of March.
The Russian president also called for the revival of the economic machine which suffered, in Russia as elsewhere, from containment but also from the fall in oil prices.
“Wherever possible, we must create the conditions for the resumption of activities”, he said, citing “construction, industry, agriculture, telecommunications, energy , the extraction of raw materials. ”
In Moscow, most of the containment measures remain in place until 31 May, the capital accounting for more than half of the cases identified in Russia.
Wearing masks and heavy fine
The only reduction is the reopening on Tuesday of industries and construction sites, sectors employing half a million workers in this city.
Consequently, the wearing of protective masks and gloves has been made compulsory in transport and public places, such as supermarkets. Tuesday, the refractors were just reprimanded, but, as of Wednesday, they will be punished with a heavy fine of 5000 rubles, or 31 Euros.
Tatiana Khan, a passenger on a bus, considers the measure necessary. “This is so that everyone understands,” says this municipal employee who worked on disinfecting building entrances.
“If everyone had worn masks earlier, there would undoubtedly have been less contamination”, continues this woman 25 , whose husband, a cook, is unemployed due to confinement.
Finally, in Saint Petersburg, where confinement remains the rule, a fire killed five people among COVID patients – 10 hospitalized in intensive care. The cause of the tragedy is an artificial respiration device that caught fire.
The city governor praised the “heroism” of the medical personnel who evacuated the service, cut off the electricity and the oxygen supply.
“We avoided a large number of victims thanks to the professionalism and selflessness of the doctors and nurses,” said Alexandre Beglov in a press release.