• Russia has experienced a steady increase in coronavirus cases in the last few days
  • The government has extended its mandatory lockdown up to May 11
  • President Putin says the country is about to face a grueling phase of the pandemic

Russia is now seeing a rapid increase of coronavirus cases in what is largely becoming a major headache for its leader, President Vladimir Putin. On Sunday, the country experienced its fourth successive single day and record-high increase. As of posting, the total confirmed cases of coronavirus in Russia stand at 145,268, with 1,356 fatalities.

coronavirus infection in Russia has been steadily increasing over the past few weeks
coronavirus infection in Russia has been steadily increasing over the past few weeks Анна Иларионова - Pixabay

The Seventh-Highest In The World

According to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker, Russia is now the seventh in the world in terms of the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. Some sectors say it is a dramatic turnaround from the country’s condition back in March.

Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters revealed in a statement that around 50% of their total confirmed cases were asymptomatic. In the same statement, it also said that the worst-hit place in the country is Moscow, which accounted for over half of the total cases.

Mandatory Lockdown

Russia imposed its mandatory lockdown on March 29 in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. At that time, the country has only a few cases of COVID-19 infection, a number that officials in Moscow had hoped to maintain. Starting mid-April, however, the country started to experience record increases in the number of cases. During the last three days, Russia had seen a steady increase of over 10,000 additional cases per day. This prompted the government to extend its mandatory lockdown through May 11.

President Putin has been trying to calm the country down. In a press statement, he said that the daily increase in coronavirus cases has relatively stabilized. He cautioned, however, that the promising data should not be a reason for everyone to let their guards down. He said that the situation remains very dangerous. “The peak is not behind us, we are about to face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic... the deadly threat of the virus remains,” Putin said.

A Rising Anger

On the field, reports say there is a wave of growing anger among Russia’s health workers after more than twenty hospitals have to cease operations for quarantines. Reports say many doctors from these hospitals have fallen sick with COVID-19.

Anonymous pleas from angry medical workers have also been reported by non-governmental organizations and the Russian independent media. Medical workers say they have been ordered to go to the frontlines without proper protection. They also claim bureaucratic foot-dragging in Russia has cost lives.