Recently, the official website of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) reported that it is already possible to start the first stage of lifting the restrictions in 44 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The restrictive measures had been introduced there previously in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lifting of Restrictions is Allowed – Step by Step
Anna Popova, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, said on Sunday on the air of Channel One Russia that more than half of Russia's regions “have every reason to move to the first stage” of lifting the COVID-19 restrictions. Popova also noted that the Russian healthcare system has coped brilliantly with the enormous burden placed on the shoulders of medical workers and hospitals. Most importantly, the terrible predictions that some scientists made regarding the spread of the coronavirus infection in Russia have not materialized.
Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the situation in the country is stabilizing and 17 constituent entities of the Russian Federation are allowed to start lifting the restrictive measures imposed there because of the coronavirus infection. According to data as of May 29, more than 387,623 COVID-19 cases have been registered in Russia.
The mortality rate of the virus was about 1%. At the moment, Russia takes the third place by the number of infected patients. The U.S. continues holding the first place, and Brazil occupies the second one in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases.
Rospotrebnadzor recommends removing the restrictions step by step depending on the specific conditions in each region, so as not to cause a new outbreak of the coronavirus infection. In order to make a decision on whether a region is ready to lift the quarantine, several indicators will be taken into account at once:
- the rate of COVID-19 spreading;
- the availability of hospital beds;
- test coverage.
Each Region to Have its own Schedule
Therefore, it is logical to assume that an individual plan will be drafted for each Russian region. Experts recommend that the removal of restrictive measures be carried out in three stages. At the first stage, it will be allowed to take walks, as well as to go out for jogging and other sports activities. Small shops and public service companies will be reopened. It is be necessary to make sure that there will be no direct contact with large numbers of people at the same time. Enterprises and organizations that are directly related to public services will be the first to resume operations.
At the second stage, it is recommended to allow the reopening of trade enterprises with a big floor space and some educational institutions to open. At the same time, there will still be a restriction on the maximum number of people to stay in one room, in a trading hall, etc.
And at the last stage, hotels, cafes, restaurants, as well as all other educational institutions will resume their work.
Mandatory Rules at all Stages
However, it should be remembered that the following rules must be observed at all three stages:
- people with chronic diseases, as well as people over 65 years of age, will have to keep maintaining self-isolation and take precautions if they need to leave home;
- employers are recommended to transfer their employees' to remote or shift work if possible;
- face masks must be used in public places, in public transport or on the streets. The regulations for wearing masks should be also observed at work;
- the social distance (at least 1.5 meters) remains in place in the offices and frequent disinfections will continue.
In addition, Rospotrebnadzor reported that each line of business will be provided with guidelines which will be mandatory at all three stages of lifting the self-isolation.
Pr. Leo Bockeria, the head of the Bakulev Scientific Center of Cardiovascular Surgery and a cardiovascular surgeon, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that “by the end of summer we are going to defeat this disease.” In turn, scientists from the University of Singapore, who made a forecast of the end of the pandemic in the world, reported that the victory over this virus would be gained by the end of this year. According to their predictions, the US is expected to beat COVID-19 even earlier – by the end of September.
Nurbubu Moldogaziev, Doctor of Biological Sciences at the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, believes that the number of COVID-19 cases might reach its minimum this summer in our country, namely, in late June or early July.
Yelena Malinnikova, an infectious disease specialist at the Russian Ministry of Health, holds the same opinion. According to her, if people stick to all the recommended measures, the epidemic in Russia is likely to be over by July. She admits that even if new cases of the disease are registered, it is not likely to affect the epidemiological situation in the country in general or to lead to a peak of the decease.
Scientists' forecasts are encouraging. So, everything we have to do is to strictly follow the recommendations and not to put ourselves at unnecessary risk. The outbreak of the deadly virus will be collectively stopped, and life is likely to get back on track.