Russia prepares to mobilize army to deal with spiraling coronavirus crisis – .

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Russia prepares to mobilize army to deal with spiraling coronavirus crisis – .


MOSCOW, Nov. 1 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russia may need help from the military to build field hospitals for COVID-19 patients as Russia battles an upsurge in infections which has led to a nationwide closure of workplaces.

“The situation in the country is very difficult,” Putin said in remarks to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other senior officials. “Over 40,000 cases (per day). It never happened. “

“I ask you to… continue to provide support to the civilian medical service if necessary. Perhaps use your building abilities as there is a need to continue building prefabricated medical facilities. “

Putin last month ordered a week-long nationwide shutdown from October 30, which could be extended by regional authorities as they see fit.

The Novgorod region northwest of Moscow became the first on Monday to say it would extend this for a second week.

“During this week we will be tightening the requirements for various workplaces. A number of organizations will be closed, ”said regional governor Andrei Nikitin.

The capital Moscow has imposed the strictest lockdown measures for more than a year, with only essential stores like pharmacies and supermarkets allowed to remain open. However, some pubs and other businesses have ignored the curbs, and travel agents have reported a boom in Russians taking beach vacations abroad to escape restrictions at home.

Anna Popova, head of the consumer health watchdog, told a government meeting: “The effect of the measures will not be immediately apparent. It will probably take more time. “

Russia has reported more than 8.5 million infections since the start of the pandemic and deaths reached new records in 21 days last month.

Some medical professionals say the country’s COVID response has been hampered by reluctance to immunize, mixed messages from authorities, unreliable statistics and attempts to shift responsibility from Moscow to the rulers of Russian republics and regions .

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