Kremlin Says Coronavirus Situation under Control Despite Surge

The Kremlin said on Friday it was worried by a record surge in COVID-19 cases in Russia but that the situation was under control, Reuters reported.

Russia reported a record high of 15,150 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, including 5,049 in the capital Moscow.

Nearly all of Moscow’s pre-trial detention facilities have stopped taking in new suspects as a precaution, the TASS news agency cited a prison monitor group as saying.

“The Kremlin is indeed worried by these statistics. We see the epidemic is spreading substantially,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “The situation is currently under control despite this sad trend.”

Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow, the worst-affected area, has said this week could prove decisive in trying to curb the spread of the virus.

On Friday, he said about 1,200 people were being admitted to hospital each day in the capital, an increase from a daily rate of 1,000 last week, and that he hoped authorities would prevent that number from going over 1,500.

“After 1,500 the situation will be harder. We will also manage with that. But it will be a different order of magnitude,” he was quoted by TASS as saying.

On Thursday, the city of nearly 13 million people said it would introduce a QR-code system for staff and customers at nightclubs and bars that are open between midnight and 6 a.m.

Moscow has ordered businesses to have at least 30% of staff working remotely and introduced online learning for secondary school students.

Russia, which has a population of around 145 million, has reported 1,369,313 cases since the pandemic began. It reported 232 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 23,723.