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Urals Doctors Appeal for Russian Army Medics as Coronavirus Surges – BBC

The Kremlin noted Monday that the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak has shifted from Moscow to the regions. Musa Salgereyev / TASS

Medics in the Ural Mountains city of Kurgan have appealed for the Russian government to send in army medics to help the local health care system stretched thin by the coronavirus pandemic, BBC Russia reported Monday. 

The national Covid-19 information center ranks the Kurgan region, with a population below 830,000, Russia’s eighth least-affected subject with 5,462 total infections and a two-week average of 73 new cases. Hospital staff, according to the BBC, maintain that regional authorities minimize the figures and fail to take appropriate measures.

Hospitals have run out of beds, medical personnel and ambulances, they wrote in a letter to Anna Popova, Russia’s chief sanitary doctor and head of the consumer safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, the BBC reported. 

“The health care system is in complete collapse,” medics at three Kurgan region hospitals and one outpatient clinic wrote.

“We ask you not to look at this through the words of our officials but to send a commission so that its members could see firsthand the hell that’s breaking loose with medical care,” they said.

The appeal for army medics and the rapid construction of a new infectious diseases hospital comes amid widespread reports of staff and bed shortages across the country during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Russia pushed past the 1.5 million mark for total Covid-19 infections over the weekend and set a daily record of 17,347 new cases Monday.

The Kremlin noted Monday that the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak has shifted from Moscow, which continues to see around one-third of all new infections, to the regions.

Rospotrebnadzor forecast that the Covid-19 pandemic will likely not decline until the summer of 2021.

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