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Mayor calls for starting flu vaccination in Moscow earlier because of COVID-19

It is necessary to start this year’s seasonal influenza vaccination in Moscow earlier than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Thursday.

“The situation may get worse when the number of acute respiratory viral infections and influenza cases grows. In order to prevent that from happening, it is necessary to start seasonal influenza vaccination earlier than in previous years, and, of course, wait for a vaccine, if it appears,” he said, expressing hope that the vaccine will be available in the coming months.

“Then we will have a stable platform, a stable basis for the future, for a serious fight against COVID-19,” Sobyanin added.

About 6,500 hospital beds are available in Moscow to accommodate patients with the coronavirus infection, the mayor informed.

“Most of the clinics and centers that worked with the coronavirus have switched to the routine working regime. As to in-patient hospitals, we have 6,500 beds remaining for coronavirus patients. Let me remind you that during the peak we had 23,000 beds,” the mayor said.

Prospects for further decrease in cases

Moscow entered its lowest level of the daily growth of the coronavirus infections and further decrease is not likely, Sergei Sobyanin commented for the Russia-24 TV channel.

“The situation in Moscow is rather stable. We are talking about the fact that over a month the detection rate [of the disease] decreased by over 7%, actually one needs to look at [and compare] peak incidence with what is going on now.

From peak incidence to this day the volume of detected new patients decreased ten-fold. <…> We entered the minimal level and won’t go any lower,” he said.

The mayor explained that millions of people move across Moscow with hundreds of thousands arriving from other regions. “This year Moscow residents would vacation in distant regions and countries less than in previous years. The majority remains in Moscow – we see it by the load on public eateries, restaurants and more. Additionally, on Saturday and Sunday about 200,000 [people] arrive here from remote regions not counting the Moscow Region which gravitates by hundreds of thousands if not millions daily,” he said.

He added that nevertheless one cannot talk about restoration of the tourist sphere in the capital since the hotels are still not functioning at full capacity. “The process of restoration is ongoing and I hope that internal tourism will partially make up for the absence of external tourists streaming in,” the mayor noted.

“There is little hope that we will get to zero or to minimal values. So, in my opinion, in the next weeks the same scenario will continue as the month before. So we will remain in the corridor of 650 to 700 detected cases, plus-minus 50,” the mayor stated.

The Moscow coronavirus situation that used to be the most complicated in Russia has improved significantly according to statistics. In all, the city detected 240,664 cases of infection, 678 of them in the past 24 hours with 177,908 people having recovered and 4,446 fatalities. The number of recoveries over the past 24 hours again surpassed the number of infections and reached 1,471.

In the capital a campaign is ongoing for mass voluntarily testing of residents for the antibodies to the coronavirus infection.

Header: Gorky Park, Moscow

Source: TASS