Nearly 90 residents at a nursing home in western Russia are suspected to have contracted the coronavirus after one of its employees contracted the fast-spreading virus, regional officials said at an emergency meeting Sunday.
The staffer at the nursing home in the Smolensk region town of Vyazma had gone to work without symptoms as recently as April 6, Deputy Governor Polina Khomaiko said. After this worker tested positive for coronavirus, 306 residents and staffers were tested, 86 of whom tested positive on their preliminary test.
The nursing home has isolated these 86 people in separate living quarters from those who tested negative, Khomaiko said.
“Some of the employees [who tested positive] are self-isolating at home and specialists have gone to their houses to carry out tests,” she said.
People over the age of 65 are considered among the most at-risk groups to becoming severely ill from the coronavirus.
During the meeting, Russia’s chief infectious disease specialist Yelena Malinnikova said that both the infected staffer and the 86 staffers and residents suspected of having the virus are in “stable” condition.
Following the news, Smolensk region Governor Alexei Ostrovsky ordered Khomaiko to work to increase the number of hospital beds with oxygen support at the local hospital. According to Khomaiko, the hospital has 28 beds and six ventilators available for coronavirus patients.
Ostrovsky also ordered the town of Vyazma, population 52,000, to close all entry points to non-residents until at least May 1. Residents entering the town will be required to have their temperature taken at the entry points. Doctors and Emergency Situations Ministry workers will still be allowed to enter the town, he said.
According to official data, the Smolensk region has registered 21 cases of coronavirus and one death. Nationwide, Russia has reported 18,328 infections and 148 deaths.