Putin may deploy Russian military as COVID-19 cases surge

He also pointed to other European countries, such as Italy, that have utilised the military in their response to the global health crisis.

Published: 14th April 2020 03:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2020 03:13 PM   |  A+A-

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin (File photo | AP)


MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the military could be deployed to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the country, after the number of cases in the country rose sharply.

On Monday, Russia recorded its largest daily rise in confirmed cases, with 2,558 new infections, taking the total to 21,102, with the vast majority of those in Moscow, the BBC reported.

The death toll currently stood at 210.

"We see that the situation is changing almost daily and, unfortunately, it is not changing for the better," the BBC quoted Putin as saying during a video meeting with top officials on Monday.

"The number of sick people is increasing, including more and more cases specifically of the severe form of the disease. The next few weeks will be decisive in many respects," he added.

READ| Putin tells Russian officials to prepare for worst-surge in COVID-19 cases as toll rises to 18,328

He also pointed to other European countries, such as Italy, that have utilised the military in their response to the global health crisis.

"We need to use this experience," he said, adding: "The capabilities of the Russian Defence Ministry, if necessary, can and should be used here."

Although Russia' death toll was far lower than in many other European nations such as Italy, Spain and France, experts have warned the country was in the early stages of the epidemic.

Lockdown measures have been introduced in the capital Moscow, the worst-hit area, as well as several other regions.

People have been asked to stay at home unless there was an essential reason for them to go out. Moscow has introduced an electronic system that issues permits to people who need to leave their homes.

But it has been beset by technical issues, which officials have blamed on cyber-attackers, said the BBC report.


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