Russia on Wednesday reported 3,388 new cases of the coronavirus, a record daily rise, bringing its overall nationwide tally to 24,490, the country’s coronavirus response center said, according to TASS.
It said 198 people in Russia diagnosed with the virus had now died, an overnight rise of 28.
Russia has been seeing an increase in coronavirus infections despite a series of confinement measures, prompting President Vladimir Putin to warn of “extraordinary” scenarios.
The capital Moscow, with a population of more than 12 million people, is the coronavirus epicenter in Russia and has so far reported just over 13,000 cases out of the nationwide tally of 21,102.
The Moscow region, where many of those working in the capital live, has registered a much higher than average rate of infection, with 36 percent of new cases on Monday against a national average of about 16 percent.
The head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog Roszdravnadzor Anna Popova warned that infections in Russia’s regions were spreading through hotspots, over half of them in healthcare facilities.
Putin, who initially insisted the contagion was “under control,” on Monday warned that Russia should be ready for “the most complicated and extraordinary” scenarios.
Since the start of the outbreak, the Kremlin chief has addressed the public several times, urging Russians to stay at home but telling their employers to continue paying their salaries without giving the companies any support.He acknowledged on Tuesday that the lockdown was a “shock” to industries and said more anti-crisis measures were needed.
In an effort to battle the epidemic, the government has mobilized additional healthcare workers, recruiting medical school teachers, researchers and post-graduate medical students and providing 1.1 million medics with additional online courses.
Some 33 billion rubles ($449 million) has been allocated to preparing 95,000 additional hospital beds.
Russia reported having carried out 1.4 million coronavirus tests, becoming one of the “leading countries” in terms of people tested, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said.