Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Putin says Russia has 'a lot of problems' and 'certainly can't relax' when it comes to coronavirus

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday gave a blunt assessment of how his country is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

During a televised video conference with senior government officials, Putin said Russia has "a lot of problems, and we don't have much to brag about, nor reason to, and we certainly can't relax. We are not past the peak of the epidemic, not even in Moscow." As of Monday night, there are 18,328 confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Russia, double the number five days ago, The New York Times reports. The death toll stands at 148.

About two-thirds of all COVID-19 cases are in Moscow, where state media reports people suspected of having coronavirus are waiting in ambulances for hours before being moved into hospitals. There are shortages of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medicine across the country, and Putin said "all scenarios of how the situation could develop must be taken into account, including the most difficult and extraordinary ones."