Moscow’s real coronavirus infection toll is more than 250,000 says the city’s mayor

Moscow’s real coronavirus infection rate is more than 250,000 says the city’s mayor – more than twice official figures for Russia – as temporary morgues appear in St Petersburg

  • Moscow mayor says the infection rate is far higher than officials have recorded 
  • If he’s right, 2 per cent of Moscow’s population would be infected with Covid-10 
  • Before the mayor’s revelation Russia had reported more than 114,000 cases of the coronavirus including 57,300 cases in Moscow
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

By Will Stewart for MailOnline

Published: 03:25 EDT, 2 May 2020 | Updated: 06:12 EDT, 2 May 2020

Russia today suffered a record 9,623 rise in new coronavirus infections with 57 more deaths, say official statistics.

Moscow’s Mayor Segei Sobyanin separately estimated that around two per cent of all Muscovites have been hit by Covid-19 with the capital city a hotspot compared to the rest of the country.

If correct this means around 253,800 people have contracted the virus in Moscow according to a calculation based on screening.

Russia has officially acknowledged some 214,800 people are under medical supervision across its 11 time zones suspected of having contracted the virus.

Pictured: Moscow Mayor Segei Sobyanin visits a specialist coronavirus hospital outside the capital in an image issued today

Pictured: Moscow Mayor Segei Sobyanin visits a specialist coronavirus hospital outside the capital in an image issued today

Pictured: Moscow Mayor Segei Sobyanin visits a specialist coronavirus hospital outside the capital in an image issued today

Pictured: A container waits outside a hospital in St Petersburg in this undated photo, waiting to store coronavirus patients after their deaths

Pictured: A container waits outside a hospital in St Petersburg in this undated photo, waiting to store coronavirus patients after their deaths

Pictured: A container waits outside a hospital in St Petersburg in this undated photo, waiting to store coronavirus patients after their deaths

The country also has 124,054 confirmed cases including Vladimir Putin’s prime minister Mikhail Mishustin who is in hospital with a ‘high fever’.

The majority of the new deaths – 37 out of 57 – were in Moscow where Sobyanin is urgently ramping up hospital provision using shopping malls amid fears that the health service could be overrun.

But he claimed the two per cent figure is good news.

‘Judging by the health screening of various population groups, the actual number of those infected amounts to about two percent of Moscow’s population,’ he posted.

 

‘It is the lowest level among major global cities hit by the pandemic,’ he claimed.

‘We have succeeded in preventing the infection from spreading through discipline and Muscovites’ support for self-isolation measures.’

Russia has massively increased testing with 3,945,518 in total, and the most recent daily figure of 221,711.

The infections in Russia include 1,210 at an Arctic gas construction site amid claims that safety precautions were ignored.

There were 131 new cases at the Belokamenka site in far north Murmansk region.

Russia also claims it has no recurrent cases of infection to date.

The head of consumer and health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, said: ‘No repeat infection cases have been registered in Russia for the time being.’

But even if a sufferer feels that he has recovered, he still can be the disease carrier, she said.

The virus remains in the organism ‘for a very long time’.

‘This is true. And when an individual already feels that he is healthy, he may still spread this virus,’ she said.

Temporary refrigerated morgues have started appearing at Russian hospitals amid fears of looming spike in coronavirus deaths.

A storage unit is pictured at city hospital no.2 in St Petersburg hospital, according to Fontanka news agency.

A medical staff worker in protective gear and a woman in a face mask in a wheelchair outside an ambulance car at the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical centre for patients with suspected coronavirus infection, in Kommunarka, near Moscow yesterday

A medical staff worker in protective gear and a woman in a face mask in a wheelchair outside an ambulance car at the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical centre for patients with suspected coronavirus infection, in Kommunarka, near Moscow yesterday

A medical staff worker in protective gear and a woman in a face mask in a wheelchair outside an ambulance car at the Novomoskovsky multipurpose medical centre for patients with suspected coronavirus infection, in Kommunarka, near Moscow yesterday

Eight such containers are in place in the city. 

Russia has so far reported more than 114,000 cases of the coronavirus including 57,300 cases in Moscow, which is the epicentre of the contagion.

According to official statistics, Moscow has a population of 12.7 million people but the real figure is believed to be higher.

Sobyanin said Moscow has significantly ramped up testing capacity over the past few weeks, adding the city has managed to ‘contain the spread of the infection’ due to the enforcement of stay-at-home rules and other measures.

But he reiterated that the city was not yet past the peak of the outbreak.

‘The threat is apparently on the rise,’ he said.

Russia’s official fatality rate, with 1,169 deaths as of Saturday morning, is low in comparison to countries like Italy, Spain and the United States.

The health ministry said on Friday that the number of infected children was on the rise.

Two children died from the coronavirus in the country, and 11 more were in a serious condition, the ministry said.

 

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