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Russia has reported nearly 2 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Moscow Medics Battle Coronavirus On Converted Ice Rink

As Russia continues to grapple with the second wave of the coronavirus that has seen record-setting surges in new infections and deaths in recent weeks, Moscow, the pandemic’s epicenter within Russia, is on the front lines.

On Wednesday, Russia reported 20,985 new coronavirus infections — the first time in five days that cases fell below 22,000 — with Moscow accounting for 4,174 of them.

While Moscow’s daily infections still outnumber those of Russia’s regions, the capital’s modern healthcare systems are better-equipped to handle the latest surge in the pandemic than other parts of the country. Regional hospitals, meanwhile, are struggling to accommodate the surge in new infections and reports have emerged of hospitals under extreme strain, overflowing morgues, medicine shortages and more.

In an effort to ease the growing pressure on its medical system, Moscow is mobilizing to construct makeshift hospitals for treating coronavirus patients.

The Krylatskoye Ice Palace in western Moscow, once the capital’s main speed-skating rink, is now the site of one of these makeshift treatment centers. Here’s a closer look:

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