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St. Petersburg Medics Appeal for Protective Gear as Coronavirus Spreads

St. Petersburg is Russia’s third-most affected locality with 156 out of the country’s 4,149 confirmed Covid-19 cases. Peter Kovalev / TASS

Doctors at one of St. Petersburg’s top hospitals have filmed a video appeal asking the public for protective gear as they prepare to admit coronavirus patients.

Pokrovskaya Hospital in Russia’s second-biggest city has been repurposed alongside two other existing facilities to accommodate a potential influx of coronavirus patients this week. St. Petersburg is Russia’s third-most affected locality with 156 out of the country’s 4,149 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Video screenshot / Fontanka.ru

“We asked our management in writing for personal protective equipment from the hospital’s own funds. Sadly, we were denied,” the Pokrovskaya doctors said.

In a video shared by St. Petersburg’s Fontanka.ru news website, the doctors said they also lack medication and oxygen.

“We’re not refusing to work. We love our patients and want everyone to recover, but it’s impossible to work in such vulnerable conditions,” they said.

The hospital’s chief, Marina Bakholdina, denied the doctors’ claims about an equipment shortage. 

Her employees’ video appeal follows criticism aimed at Russia for sending humanitarian aid or selling medical supplies for the fight against coronavirus to other countries in the face of a shortage at home. 

Russia has sent protective gear, disinfectants and other equipment to Italy, the United States and Serbia in past weeks.

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