Dressed from head to toe in a hazardous materials suit?and wearing a respirator, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a?suburban?Moscow hospital?Tuesday.?
Putin praised the doctors?at the?Kommunarka?hospital for?doing?their jobs?“like?clockwork” to combat coronavirus.??
Russia has reported just 495 coronavirus cases so far with?no confirmed deaths.??
But Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who heads the country’s coronavirus task force, told?Putin?that the?real number?is “significantly higher.”??
“The fact is that testing volume is very low and no one on Earth knows the real picture,” the mayor said, adding that he thinks many Russians who traveled overseas are self-isolating.?
“The momentum is?high?and a serious situation is unfolding,” he told Putin.??
Moscow officials have already ordered all people 65?years?and older to stay inside. Sobyanin?is ordering all?regions across the vast country to take the same step and be prepared even if they have no coronavirus patients.??
“Otherwise, the?healthcare?system simply will not cope,” he warned.?
To ease the stress on Moscow hospitals, city?officials?are telling anyone who is?showing light?symptoms?to stay at home for treatment.??
In the meantime, the pandemic appears to have little?obvious?impact on the daily lives of Muscovites. Restaurants are still open,?streets are full of?pedestrians, and stores are said to be well-stocked.??
But all sports venues in the city have been closed. Police are checking taxi drivers to make sure they are wearing face masks and disinfecting their cabs, and travel to and from Russia has been?curtailed.?
The Russian capital has also installed about?100,000?special?facial recognition cameras to make sure that anyone ordered to remain in?quarantine?stays off the streets.??