One more day of COVID-19 pandemic has brought new changes. We are learning to live in a new reality.
First of all, let me start with some numbers again. Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia has reached 199 today. Sadly, the first death in our country was registered: an elderly woman in Moscow. Moscow is such a huge metropolis, no wonder it has the biggest number of cases in our country so far. St. Petersburg numbers are seemingly low: 9 cases total for today, deaths: 0. However St. Petersburg infectious diseases hospital has around 300 patients with suspected COVID-19 or similar symptoms.
New Infectious Disease Centre is being built in the vicinity of Moscow. The foundation stone was laid on March 13, after the coronavirus pandemic was announced by WHO. The capacity of the new hospital will be 500 patients. The authorities hope to launch the new infectious disease centre in weeks (they don’t give precise dates). During the construction works up to 5-6 thousand of people will be involved.
Meanwhile cultural life is shutting down more and more: in St. Petersburg more museums have closed down till the end of March, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and Church on the Blood have gone on the forced leave.
Some entertainment centres are shutting down. For instance, New Holland cultural space has addressed the visitors to stay at home due to the current epidemiological situation. They’ve shut down all events and exhibitions and are preparing interesting broadcasts that people will be able to watch or listen to on-line.
Concerning daily life in St. Petersburg, public transport, cafes, restaurants and shopping centres are becoming empty. People avoid using public transport as much as possible. Many offices have transferred to on-line work from home. If the number of sick people keeps growing, shopping centres will be shut down next week.
Garlic against COVID-19
Life would be too dull without little fun stories we come across every day. Thus, local public transport drivers decided to fight against the coronavirus with old folk remedies: onions and garlic. Surprised passengers found onions and garlic on the seats of shuttle buses called “marshrutkas” this morning.