Putin: Russia facing new surge of omicron-driven cases

Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via Associated Press

Russia is facing a new surge of coronavirus cases that is driven by the omicron variant, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

“It’s obvious that we are in a very difficult situation today, in a situation on the verge of possible new surges [of the virus],” Putin told government officials in a meeting, the Associated Press reported

Russia’s state coronavirus task force said the country had more than 17,000 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Putin said Russia’s health care system needed a “mobilization” as “we see what’s happening in the world. It means we have at least a couple of weeks to prepare.”

Other parts of the world are seeing health care systems once again overrun with COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious omicron variant. Countries have implemented coronavirus restrictions such as crowd limits and masking in an attempt to quell the surge. 

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said more measures could be announced to take action against omicron, but did not go into detail, according to the AP.

Russia previously ordered workers to stay home for a week last fall to deal with a coronavirus spike and has allowed local areas to implement their own rules, but has largely avoided national lockdowns or restrictions. 

Tags SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant Vladimir Putin

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