Russia’s Labor Ministry has ordered mental health facilities and nursing homes to quarantine residents and employees for two weeks in a move to fight the coronavirus outbreak, the state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday.
A total of 457 people have “inevitably” been infected with Covid-19 at 16 facilities in seven Russian regions so far, deputy minister Olga Batalina was cited as saying. She said the disease spreads at these facilities either through staffers who get infected outside or patients who bring the virus from hospitals.
“We sent a telegram to all regions recommending to quarantine inpatient care organizations together with their employees,” Batalina said as quoted by TASS.
“The process is currently underway, 14-day shift teams are being formed out of these organizations’ employees,” she said.
Batalina said nursing homes in most Russian regions “where we see a serious increase in the coronavirus epidemic threshold” have already been either fully or partially shut down. Twenty-three other regions are preparing for similar closures, the official said.
Authorities banned unauthorized access to psychiatric facilities and orphanages to prevent the spread of Covid-19 earlier in April.
Russia confirmed 4,774 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 62,773 and 555 deaths.