Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin gave a sobering estimate on the number of people in the city that are believed to have been infected with the coronavirus, which originated in China.
“Sobyanin wrote on his blog that testing in the Russian capital had shown that around 2 percent of residents had COVID-19, although he praised Muscovites for adhering to restrictions to curb the spread of the virus,” Newsweek reported. “Moscow, which as at the epicenter of the pandemic in Russia, has by some estimates around 12.7 million people, meaning that over 250,000 have been infected, according to Sobyanin’s figures.”
“According to the results of screening studies of various population groups, the actual number of cases is about two percent of the total number of Moscow residents,” Sobyanin wrote, according to Newsweek.
If accurate, that would mean that Moscow has more cases than New York City. The New York Times reported on Sunday morning that New York City had over 177,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
However, The New York Times reported two weeks ago that a much higher number of New York City residents were believed to have been exposed to the coronavirus.
The New York Times reported:
One of every five New York City residents tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, according to preliminary results described by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday that suggested that the virus had spread far more widely than known.
If the pattern holds, the results from random testing of 3,000 people raised the tantalizing prospect that many New Yorkers — as many as 2.7 million, the governor said — who never knew they had been infected had already encountered the virus, and survived. Mr. Cuomo also said that such wide infection might mean that the death rate was far lower than believed.
A Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus tracker reported, as of Sunday morning, that Russia had 134,687 confirmed cases but was only reporting 1,280 deaths, which experts have warned was too low to be accurate.
Newsweek reported last week:
Observers have noted that Russia could be underreporting both the number of infections and the number of cases, partially due to the initial low rate of testing. In the early stages of the pandemic, Russian authorities reported a spike in the number of pneumonia cases, a complication of COVID-19 infection, which were not attributed to the virus.
The number of cases in Russia is accelerating fast. President Vladimir Putin claimed in March that the national outbreak was small and under control, but the crisis has ballooned out of the state’s control.
Putin himself has self-isolated for several weeks, having come into contact with a senior doctor at a Moscow hospital who later tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Putin admitted last week that the country had a shortage of medical supplies and that the worst was yet to come for Russia.
“Ahead of us is a new stage, perhaps the most intense stage of the fight against the epidemic. The risks of getting infected are at the highest level, and the threat, the mortal danger of the virus persists,” Putin said. “Russia has managed to slow down the spread of the epidemic, but we haven’t passed the peak yet.”
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