Moscow plans coronavirus medical centre on Chinese model

Moscow said on Friday it was planning to build a medical centre inspired by a rapidly built Chinese facility to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new 500-bed facility, in a sparsely populated region 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Moscow, will “use the experience of colleagues in China”, said Andrei Bochkarev, the city’s deputy mayor.

Bochkarev, who is in charge of construction at city hall, said it would be “one of the most modern” medical centres.

Russia has declared 45 cases of the COVID-19 virus but no fatalities, according to official figures published Friday.

The Chinese authorities constructed a 1,000-bed hospital last month in just 10 days following last December’s outbreak of the virus in the Wuhan region.

Moscow was “doing everything to prevent the infection from spreading”, the city’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, said Thursday.

Having already banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people, he pledged to tighten restrictions if it proved necessary.

Russia’s health watchdog has warned against using public transport during rush hour and urged Russians to avoid hugging and handshakes.

Earlier this month, the Kremlin banned the export of masks, respirators and hazmat suits to ensure access to the items for medics.

But it has since delivered hundreds of coronavirus testing kits to ex-Soviet countries, Iran and South Korea.