MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin says Russia is facing a surge in the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients and needs to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.
Putin told officials during a conference call that they should be ready to move medical personnel and equipment between regions to respond to the rapidly changing situation.
He said the preparations must anticipate “any possible scenarios, including the most difficult and extraordinary.”
Putin ordered officials to recruit additional personnel from universities and medical schools.
Russia had recorded 18,328 coronavirus cases and 148 deaths, as of Monday. Moscow and its surrounding region accounted for about two-thirds of all cases.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reported to Putin that Russia has 40,000 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients and plans to increase the number to 95,000. She said infections have been growing steadily by 16%-18% a day.