Shocking videos and pictures of long lines of ambulances outside Moscow hospitals have emerged as top officials told of an alarming coronavirus crisis in the Russian capital.
Snaking queues of dozens of medical vehicles all with patients showing symptoms of COVID-19 were seen outside city clinics.
There were at least 45 ambulances queuing to deliver patients for treatment in one video as the Kremlin declared a state of emergency in Moscow’s hospitals.
One long line was outside a hospital in Khimki suburb, close to Moscow’s main Sheremetyevo airport.
On Saturday, dozens of ambulances queued outside a hospital handling coronavirus cases in the region immediately outside Moscow, waiting to drop off patients.
One ambulance driver said he had been waiting 15 hours outside the hospital to drop off a patient suspected of having the virus.
“The situation in both Moscow and St Petersburg, but mostly in Moscow, is quite tense because the number of sick people is growing,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview on state television, news agencies reported.
“There is a huge influx of patients. We are seeing hospitals in Moscow working extremely intensely, in heroic, emergency mode.”
Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said hospitals were taking all possible measures to ensure rapid admissions and that cases of ambulances needing to wait hours to drop off patients was not a systemic issue.
Russia has reported 13,584 cases of the virus, and the authorities said on Saturday that 12 new coronavirus-related deaths in the last day had pushed the death toll to 106.
The low Russian numbers are a lie
Dahhh comrade, Russia have no Corona, all good my friend
Turns out Russia is recording all Corona deaths as unexplained Pneumonia