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Moscow warns it faces coronavirus hospital bed shortage within weeks

Moscow warns it faces coronavirus hospital bed shortage within weeks

Ambulances queue before driving onto the adjacent territory of a local hospital amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW: Authorities in Moscow have warned that the Russian capital may run out of hospital beds to treat a rising influx of coronavirus patients in the next two to three weeks despite frantic efforts to get more beds in place.

Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region, has rushed to reconfigure hospitals to treat patients of the new virus and made thousands of new beds available.

But officials said that may prove not to be enough.

" ... The operational headquarters predicts that despite the inclusion of an increasing number of state, federal and commercial clinics, a shortage of beds in redeveloped hospitals is possible in the next two to three weeks," the Moscow city health department said.

New confirmed infections in the Russian capital shot up by 1,489 overnight, bringing its total number of registered cases to 13,002. Around 6,000 Muscovites are receiving treatment at home.

Nationwide cases increased by a record daily amount overnight, bringing Russia's overall tally to 21,102, and 170 people have died across the country so far, the country's coronavirus response centre said.

Moscow's health department said it had decided to reconfigure 24 more hospitals given the situation and planned to have a total of 21,000 beds available within the next 10 days.

Moscow's Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said on Friday (Apr 10) that the number of cases was rising along with the number of seriously sick patients.

"Along with the rise in the number of patients with serious symptoms, the burden on the capital's healthcare has increased dramatically. Our hospitals and ambulance services are now operating at their limit (at their maximum)," said Rakova. 

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Source: Reuters/aa

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