Putin: Russia may need the army’s help to fight coronavirus
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Monday said his country might need to deploy the army to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Putin warned the contagion was getting worse after the number of confirmed cases surged by a record daily amount of 2,558 new infections on Monday. It brought the total to 18,328, with the vast majority of infections are in Moscow.
“We see that the situation is changing almost daily and, unfortunately, it is not changing for the better,” he said during a video meeting with top officials.
“The number of sick people is increasing, including more and more cases specifically of the severe form of the disease. The next few weeks will be decisive in many respects,”
Putin also referred to other European countries, such as Italy, that have utilised the military in their response to the coronavirus crisis.
“We need to use this experience,” the Russian president said.
“The capabilities of the Russian Defence Ministry, if necessary, can and should be used here.”
Moscow along with several other regions are under lockdown, with residents being ordered to stay at home except to purchase food, need urgent medical treatment, take out the garbage, or go to work if absolutely necessary.
Russia’s official death tally from the virus stands at 148, far lower than in many other European countries such as Italy, Spain, France, and the UK. However, experts have warned the country is in the early stages of the pandemic.