Russia Will Be The Next COVID19 Hotspot After The USA

Things are bleak in Russia.

There was talk that Putin’s early move to shut down most travel from China, along with an extensive testing and contact-tracing effort rooted in the Soviet Union’s disease-fighting legacy, was succeeding where Italy, Spain and the United States all had failed.

So confident was the Kremlin that it dispatched planeloads of aid to Italy, Serbia and even Kennedy Airport in New York, signaling that Russia had stockpiled so many masks and ventilators that it was able to share some of them with less fortunate countries.

But it has become clear in recent days that Russia is unlikely to escape a severe hit by the pandemic, presenting an existential test to the country’s teetering health system and a new challenge to the aura of rising confidence and competence projected by Putin’s Kremlin.

“We have a lot of problems, and we don’t have much to brag about nor reason to, and we certainly can’t relax,” Putin told senior officials Monday in his bleakest comments on the crisis yet. “We are not past the peak of the epidemic, not even in Moscow.”