It is unlikely we return to normal life before next February— Russian health minister

by Maruf Adedeji

Russia’s health minister has said that life was unlikely to return to normal until next February at the earliest.

While disclosing this on Friday July 3, 2020, in an interview, Mikhail Murashko stated that with the rising cases of the coronavirus every day and the death toll nearly 10,000 in the country, returning to normal life was likely next year.

He said 3,500 people in Russia were still receiving treatment via artificial long ventilators, which he said was a “serious figure”.

He added that millions would have died had preventive measures not been taken.

Turkey still has some restrictions in force, including a ban on international flights extended on Thursday until August. However, many measures have been eased, with restaurants, gyms and domestic travel all permitted within social distancing guidelines and certain parameters.

“In my view, it is unlikely that normal life will happen before February,” Murashko said.

Russia’s health authorities in Moscow last month said the number of deaths was around 50% higher in May than in the same month last year.

Murashko said Russia’s official data as a whole in May was not yet available but the coronavirus-related deaths have increased the country’s mortality rate by around 1.5%-2% since the beginning of 2020.

Russian health authorities said they had continued to intensify their efforts in getting a vaccine and drug trials, adding that they would not recommend lopinavir, part of a combination of HIV drug being used in multi-country trials by the World Health Organisation, for the treatment of coronavirus patients in Russia.

Russia’s finance ministry also said on Thursday 2 July, 2020 that the country intends more than double its borrowing this year to 5 trillion roubles, being part of efforts to finance the economic recovery from the coronavirus.

As it stands, Russia has reported 667, 883 cases and just 9,859 deaths from the coronavirus. With this data, some critics have expressed some sceptism over the variance between the country’s official number of cases and coronavirus related-deaths.

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