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Russia can avoid a second wave of coronavirus if everyone follows the rules and observes distance, says WHO

Russia can avoid a second wave of coronavirus if everyone follows the rules and observes distance, says WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Russia, Melita Vujnovic, has suggested that non-compliance with social distancing rules means the country may have to re-introduce Covid-19 restrictions.

“If the physical distancing is not respected… if the number of cases starts to grow, there will simply be no other way,” she said in an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

Vujnovic said that the risk of re-introducing measures will always exist, as long as there is no vaccine or medicine available.

“It’s better if it happens sooner, so we don’t have to wait for the virus to spread even more. The fire must be extinguished while it is small,” she explained.

In a previous interview with daily newspaper Izvestia, Vujnovic noted that Russia can avoid a second wave of coronavirus if it learns lessons from other nations where it has already started.

“The safer each person’s behavior is, in terms of spreading the virus, the more likely it is that we will be able to prevent or control the second wave,” Vujnovic said.

On Friday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that the capital’s authorities don’t expect the city to have a second wave of coronavirus, as “herd immunity has developed among the population.” According to Anastasia Rakova, deputy mayor of Moscow, antibodies have been detected in 21.7 percent of the city’s population.

In March 2020, Russia began to impose self-isolation and other measures in response to the growing threat of Covid-19. Russians were banned from leaving their home, other than for food shopping, dog walks, visits to medical professionals, and other urgent reasons. Measures began to ease off at the beginning of June. Restrictions now vary region-by-region. With a few exceptions, Russia is starting to get back to normal.

On Wednesday, Alexander Gorelov, a senior epidemiology researcher at Russia’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, gave a different view. Gorelov believes that a second wave is “inevitable,” but a strict lockdown is unlikely.

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“During the first stage, it was essential as medical institutions had to prepare,” he said. “Now, personnel have been trained, and beds have been deployed… it is not the same as it was at the onset.”

To date, Russia has recorded 713,936 cases of Covid-19, with 11,017 deaths. Compared to the rest of the world, Russia has the fourth most cases, behind only the US (3,118,168), Brazil (1,755,779), and India (793,802).

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