“I do believe that there might be a surge [in Covid-19 cases], but we’ll be able to respond to it much quicker, having all the experience that we’ve got, unfortunately, over the last four months,” Dr. Melita Vujnovic, who represents the World Health Organization in Russia, told RT when asked about the impact of the gradual lifting of lockdowns – that has begun in many countries – on the pandemic.
“It’s still uncharted territory,” but there’s a way to “help curb the epidemic and still allow for socio-economic life that the world needs,” she pointed out.
— Vas (@crypticvalentin) May 13, 2020
However, “vigilance is needed” as the virus – which has already infected 4.29 million people and killed more than 293,000 around the globe – isn’t going away, and remains highly contagious.
Nations must develop “a capacity to quickly detect new cases, to quickly identify all the contacts, test them and quarantine them – instead of going for full lockdowns,” the health expert added. The coronavirus hotspots must be identified.
“Unfortunately, we believe that it’s going to be a sort of a mode of operation until herd immunity is reached, probably through a vaccine that we still have to wait for.”
I do believe in people. People are very strong. They have adapted. They’ve managed to overcome cholera, plague, smallpox and various other diseases.
But with the right explanation, people will be able to accept the “new reality” and adapt to it, Vujnovic said. “Hygiene will get a new impetus” and most will realize that the way to behave is by “not being heroes by going sick to work… but staying isolated and making sure that we don’t infect others.”
Coronavirus outbreak in Russia
For weeks, Russia seemed to have dodged a bullet. As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) raged just across the border in China, Russia was virtually untouched, reporting just seven confirmed infections as recently as 10 March.
Some health care providers have questioned whether Russia truly kept the novel coronavirus at bay. Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of Russia’s Alliance of Doctors trade union, has pointed out that pneumonia cases in Moscow spiked in January—they were 37% higher than in January 2019, according to Rosstat, Russia’s statistics agency. The coronavirus hotspots must be identified.
She asserts that COVID-19 must have accounted for at least part of the increase. Others attribute the increase to a greater number of pneumonia patients, anxious about the new coronavirus, seeking treatment.
With COVID-19 cases now indisputably on the rise in Russia, authorities are moving fast to ramp up detection and hospital bed capacity. Russia’s federal coronavirus coordination council says 193,000 tests based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have been done to date. Swabs initially had to be shipped to Siberia for analysis at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR.
#Latest on #coronavirus outbreak in #Russia on Wednesday, according to Russia's coronavirus response center:
-242,271 cumulative cases, an increase of 10,028 within 24 hours.
-2,212 total deaths. pic.twitter.com/S328LF4YgU
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) May 13, 2020
Russia’s Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor)—the country’s analog of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—has just expanded testing to its regional laboratories and the Anti-Plague Research Institute.
As for the coronavirus outbreak in Russia, there’s a “reason for optimism,” the WHO representative said.
The country has recorded 242,271 cases and 2,212 COVID-19-related deaths, but a decrease in the average growth rate of the number of infected has been seen for over a week now, and the “extremely high” number of tests being carried out gives us grounds to believe that “we’re heading the right way.”
RT with additional input from GVS News Desk