Inside Russia’s chaotic response to the coronavirus epidemic

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  • Russia has seen an increase in coronavirus cases in recent days.
  • The country made early efforts to contain the epidemic: in late January, it closed its border with China to try to prevent the virus from entering.
  • Major cities have also been locked since March 30, leaving people only able to leave their homes to buy essentials or for medical emergencies.
  • But Russia still does not appear to have contained the outbreak effectively enough, with hospitals overflowing and doctors complaining about the lack of protective equipment.
  • President Vladimir Putin, who was largely absent from the front lines of the crisis, also delivered mixed messages on the virus: on April 14, he declared that the country had “many problems”, only to say five days later that everything was “under total control”.
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While the United States and some of the hardest hit countries in Europe were battling the coronavirus epidemic, Russia still reported a small number of confirmed confirmed cases.

But the number of infections has increased in recent days, leaving President Vladimir Putin to admit that the country is facing an “extraordinary crisis”.

Although the Russian government took action early – it closed its borders to China in late January – it oversaw a chaotic response to the crisis, largely due to mismanagement and lack of communication.

Scroll down for a preview of the country’s response.

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