Russia’s second wave of coronavirus has been more devastating than the first. On May 11, the country’s pre-summer peak, Russia recorded 11,656 cases — less than half of today’s number. At that time, Russia was six weeks into a strict national lockdown, with certain regions imposing even more stringent measures than federally mandated.
This time the Kremlin has not imposed uniformly strict nationwide measures. Instead, each local governor has the authority to make their own decisions. They have all been advised, but not instructed, to take strong steps. Last week, Moscow announced that all nightlife venues in the capital would be closed at 11pm, until January 15. On Wednesday, Saint Petersburg revealed that it would be closing all shopping centers and ice rinks from next Monday, with spectators banned at sporting events.
Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko revealed that there are 221,000 patients currently hospitalized with Covid-19, with around 5,000 of them needing intensive care. This means that 20% of the nation’s intensive care beds are now filled by those with coronavirus. Earlier in the week, Murashko revealed that 53 of Russia’s 85 regions are reporting close to 90% hospital bed occupancy.
On the world stage, Russia is fifth in confirmed infections behind the US (11,529,818), India (8,958,483), Brazil (5,945,849) and France (2,115,717). However, when it comes to deaths, Russia has less than many countries, reporting fewer fatalities than the likes of Spain, the UK, and Italy.