Healthcare workers at Moscow's Filatov City Clinical Hospital No 15 starting to admit patients suspected of the COVID-19 infection. (Photo Credit: Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS)

Russian officials hope that the spread of the novel coronavirus in Moscow and the Moscow Region will slow down over the next week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said on Monday during the session on the sanitary-epidemiological situation in the country.

“Judging by the situation in other states, starting this moment, that is, after nearly a month, countries start to document an increase of the infection or a so-called plateau. We consider this week and the beginning of next week in Moscow and the Moscow Region as the period when the number of infections will increase. We would like to hope that this increase will be followed by a plateau,” she said.

Golikova expressed hope that if the number of infections in Moscow and the Moscow Region plateaus, “some more or less stable trend can be documented,” which would help establish the necessary course of action in the future.

She reminded that the increase in COVID-19 cases had begun in Moscow on March 16, 2020. By now, two incubation periods have passed. “Other regions of the country are three-four weeks behind. In this sense, it is crucial to prepare the healthcare systems and the corresponding hospital beds. <…> We need to make strict efforts to halt the spread of the disease,” the deputy PM added.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 1,800,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 114,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 428,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 18,328 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 1,470 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 148 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.

Source: TASS, April 13, 2020