Russia not planning lockdowns despite record high COVID-19 deaths - Kremlin

Reuters

Posted at Oct 21 2020 09:55 PM

A medical worker prepares for a procedure with a patient in the intensive care unit of the City Clinical Hospital Number 52, where patients suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are treated, in Moscow, Russia October 8, 2020. Maxim Shemetov, Reuters/File Photo

MOSCOW - Russia is not planning to impose any further lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, after it notched up a record daily death toll of 317.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said no harsh restrictions were required to contain the virus, saying safety precautions, hygiene and certain curbs imposed by local authorities were key.

He said Russia was now better-equipped to respond to the pandemic.

"The work that has been done has already yielded results," Peskov told reporters on a conference call. "The health system is ready to sustain the pressure caused by the pandemic."

Russia's health watchdog said it was investigating after local media outlet 161.ru reported that several people in a hospital in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don had died when their oxygen supply ran out. A city official denied the report.

Peskov called the report alarming.

Separately, a video clip posted on social media showed at least two dozen bodies in black bags on beds or lying on the floor in the basement corridor of a Siberian hospital for COVID-19 patients.

The Altai region's health ministry confirmed the authenticity of the video and said the bodies had built up because doctors have to conduct post-mortems on all COVID-19 victims and were unable to keep up despite working overtime.

Russia recorded 15,700 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, while a daily record high of 317 deaths pushed the total number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic to 24,952.

With 1,447,335 infections in total, the country of around 145 million has the world's fourth largest caseload after the United States, India and Brazil.