The total number of cases in the country is now 134,687, the seventh highest number in the world, in a dramatic reversal from the situation in March.
A total of 1,280 deaths have been recorded, the country’s headquarters said in response to the coronavirus in a statement, adding that about 50% of the cases were asymptomatic. Moscow, the most affected city in the country, accounts for more than half of the total cases.
Last week, Russia extended its solitary confinement until May 11. “The daily increase in cases has stabilized relatively but that should not calm us down, the situation is still very serious,” said Mr Putin. “The peak is not behind us, we are on the verge of facing a new grueling phase of the pandemic … the deadly threat of the virus remains. “
Anger is mounting among health workers across the country after two dozen hospitals were forced to close for quarantine, and many doctors have become ill. Independent Russian media and non-governmental organizations have reported anonymous requests from outraged health professionals who said they had been sent to the front line without adequate protection and that bureaucratic foot dragging was costing lives.
On Saturday, a Chinese city on the border with Russia issued an emergency warning on preventing epidemics closing all restaurants to restaurants “until further notice”, according to the Chinese video surveillance company.
The decision by Harbin City in Heilongjiang Province comes as other Chinese provinces have started to lift the foreclosure measures. Heilongjiang has seen a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases.
Chinese health officials recently traced dozens of cases on a single flight that arrived in Shanghai from Moscow on April 10. A spate of cases in the city of Suifenhe, on the border with the Russian Far East, has been largely attributed to Chinese nationals returning from Russia.
The Russian Defense Ministry has reported an epidemic among its personnel, cadets and civilian employees. There have been reports of military academies across the country, including soldiers who participated in Moscow rehearsals for the May 9 Victory Day parade.
In March, Putin radiated confidence in his government’s response to a growing global crisis, reassuring its citizens that the situation was “under control” through early intervention measures. On April 1, the Russian president acted as an international rescuer by sending a shipment of medical supplies to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
But by April 13, the mood had changed. “We have a lot of problems,” said Putin during a video conference. “There is nothing to brag about, and we must not let our guard down, because in general, as you and your specialists say, we have not yet crossed the peak of the epidemic. “
In a recent essay, Tatiana Stanovaya of the Carnegie Moscow Center said that the pandemic had highlighted Putin’s isolation from ordinary Russians because he had failed to devise an adequate plan of action or demonstrate sufficient empathy, entrusting the task of imposing the strictest restrictions to Sergey Sobyanin, the mayor of Moscow.
CNN’s Nathan Hodge contributed to this report.