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Putin orders Health Ministry to brace for second coronavirus wave

Russia’s Health Ministry needs to brace for a second coronavirus wave in October and November, President Vladimir Putin said during an online meeting on the coronavirus situation in the country on Friday.

He supported an initiative to start preparations to fully reopen medical facilities once the pandemic is over.

“I would like to draw the attention of our colleagues, first and foremost, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, to the need to be prepared that while easing the restrictions we have been living under we should think about a second wave, which, according to experts, may come in the fall, in October and November,” the president pointed out.

Experts earlier told TASS that Russia could face a second wave of the coronavirus after the pandemic had passed its peak in other countries. According to experts, vaccination and extended restrictions can help prevent it from happening.

Coronavirus dynamics

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the coronavirus situation in Russia is stabilizing in general, although the dynamics is still unstable. “According to the incoming objective information, by experts’ estimations, the situation in the country in general is stabilizing — both in Moscow, that faced the epidemic first, and in many other regions of Russia, the number of daily registered cases gradually decreases.”

However, according to the president, “so far this dynamic is not as fast as we would like it to be and sometimes it is even unstable, but it is still there.”

“For example, if just one week ago, the case growth rate across Russia was 5.9%, today it is 3.5%,” Putin underscored.

“Importantly, such a decrease happens amid constantly increasing number of tests, which makes it possible to detect the disease at an early stage, preventing severe complications and curbing the infection spread,” he said.

Putin disclosed that “in the past two weeks, the number of conducted tests rose by almost 3 million; every day about 240,000 tests take place.”

“We must continue to ramp up this work everywhere,” the president said. “The hidden danger is that the infection might not be timely detected and that a person without obvious symptoms might not be warned about a threat for themselves and their relatives.”

To date, a total of 326,448 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 99,825 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 3,249 fatalities nationwide.

Header: MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA – MAY 22, 2020: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is seen in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence during a videoconference meeting of Russian government officials to discuss the situation in Russia concerning the pandemic of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

Original: TASS