Moscow to open extra hospital capacity & heighten measures to control Covid-19 as cases rise in Europe’s largest city

The mayor of Moscow has revealed that the city will open additional hospital beds in the coming days as Russia sees diagnosed Covid-19 cases grow to levels not seen in many months, with a disproportionate amount in the capital.

Speaking at a meeting with restaurateurs on Wednesday, Sergey Sobyanin also announced that the city would be ramping up its enforcement of sanitary measures, such as wearing masks on public transport.

The mayor’s decision comes as Covid-19 infection numbers begin to climb back up to levels seen last winter.

According to the official numbers, Russia recorded 11,699 new cases nationwide on Thursday, the highest figure since February 24. The capital is taking the brunt of the latest wave, with 5,246 new infections detected in just 24 hours – almost 45% of all cases recorded. Moscow is home to around just 10% of the country’s population.

However, despite worsening figures, Sobyanin does not intend to introduce any new lockdowns. Instead, he has turned his focus to increasing hospital bed capacity and strengthening enforcement of oft-ignored rules. For example, also on Wednesday, senior epidemiologist Vadim Pokrovsky blamed the latest spike on Russians neglecting to wear medical masks.

According to Anastasia Rakova, Moscow’s deputy mayor, the number of beds in the city will be boosted by 1,500 by the end of the week.

Another reason for the increasing coronavirus case figures may be due to the low take-up in vaccination, which was rolled out en masse in January and is completely free of charge. However, despite availability, citizens have been hesitant to get jabbed. As things stand, Russians can receive one of four domestically produced options – Sputnik V, Sputnik Lite, EpiVacCorona, and CoviVac.

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