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Putin says virus situation in Russia ‘under control’

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Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the government at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 17, 2020. (Photo by Mikhail KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said the situation with the spreading coronavirus is “under control” in Russia after infections were “contained”.

“We were able to contain mass penetration and spread” of the pandemic, the Russian president told a government meeting. “The situation is generally under control despite the high-risk level,” he added.

Russia on Tuesday reported a total of 114 cases of coronavirus, up from 93 on Monday, with no fatalities.

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Putin appealed to the country and the government to “act with self-awareness, organisation and care for one another,” and urged officials to provide accurate information to Russians.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who is responsible for health, dismissed concerns that authorities may struggle if thousands of Russians require respiratory support.

Russia is “ready to use over 40,000 respiratory support systems,” she said at the meeting, adding that 106 of the cases in Russia are not severe.

Following public concerns over-testing, the government has said it will step up testing and send more kits to regional facilities. Official figures indicate over 110,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus.

“We are producing up to 100,000 tests per day,” Golikova added during the meeting.

A research institute in Siberia has started testing vaccine prototypes on animals, the laboratory chief said Monday.

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