Putin tells country to prepare for surge of coronavirus cases

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country is facing a surge in the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients and needs to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

Putin tells officials during a conference call that they should be ready to move medical personnel and equipment between regions to respond to the rapidly changing situation.

He says the preparations must anticipate “any possible scenarios, including the most difficult and extraordinary.”

Putin orders officials to recruit additional personnel from universities and medical schools.

Russia has recorded 18,328 coronavirus cases and 148 deaths as of Monday. Moscow and its surrounding region account for about two-thirds of all cases.

— AP

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