Russia May Have Reached Plateau with COVID-19 Cases: WHO Spokesperson

The growth rate of cases of coronavirus infection in recent days suggests that Russia has reached a plateau, the spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Russia Melita Vujnovic said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg on Sunday, TASS reports.

“Cases of infection continue to appear, but their growth has stabilized,” Vujnovic said. “We hope that what we have been seeing for the last few days is a plateau.”

Earlier, the anti-coronavirus crisis center reported that Russia’s coronavirus spreading coefficient has decreased by 0.02 in the past 24 hours to 1.04, the lowest level since the beginning of the outbreak. Moscow’s coronavirus spreading coefficient is 1.02 now, whereas on Saturday it was slightly below 1.06. The spreading coefficient is calculated using the formula provided by the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being in its recommendations for regions on easing lockdown measures imposed due to the coronavirus spread. It should not exceed 1 for shifting to the first phase of easing restrictions in a Russian region. The spreading coefficient shows how many people on average get the coronavirus infection from one infected prior to their isolation, the watchdog explained.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 4 million people have been infected with coronavirus in the world, over 277,000 have died. In Russia, according to the data of the federal operational headquarters for the fight against coronavirus, 209,688 cases of infection were registered, 34,306 people recovered, 1,915 died.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the WHO about the outbreak of previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus – named COVID-19 by the WHO – have been reported in every part of the world. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

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