ON THE GROUND

Russia’s low rate of coronavirus infections means few fear pandemic

Few Russians appear worried about the global coronavirus outbreak.
Few Russians appear worried about the global coronavirus outbreak. © FRANCE 24 screengrab

Russia seems to have been largely spared from the global coronavirus pandemic, with official statistics recording just over 1,000 confirmed cases and four COVID-19 deaths since the start of the outbreak. The low figures mean that few Russians feel the need to protect themselves. FRANCE 24 reports from Moscow.

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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Russia has reported an astonishingly low rate of coronavirus infections, reporting just 1,000 confirmed cases among its population of 144.5 million. And for most Moscow residents, it is business as usual, with few people seen wearing face masks or gloves, or applying social distancing measures.

“I don't see or feel any real danger. Everyone says this coronavirus is here, somewhere. But for the moment I don't believe in it,” Moscow resident Dmitry Sergeyevich told FRANCE 24.

On Wednesday, the Russian government declared the upcoming week as a paid “non-working week” and urged people to stay at home, but some fear the measures may have come too late, and will have little effect if, and when, the coronavirus pandemic takes hold in Russia

“They should have introduced confinement measures ages ago! And made them strict. It's too late now. There are around a hundred new cases every day,” Moscow shopkeeper Marif Garayev said.

To watch the full report, please click on the player above.

 

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