Russia controlling coronavirus

Source:AFP Published: 2020/6/15 17:38:41

Moscow more successful on COVID-19 than US: Putin

Xinhua file photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised interview Sunday that Russia had been more successful in dealing with the coronavirus than the US.

He contrasted the situations in the two countries, saying in Russia, "We are exiting the coronavirus situation steadily with minimal losses, God willing, in the States it isn't happening that way."

Russia on Sunday confirmed 8,835 new virus cases, taking the total to 528,964, the third highest in the world. 

Regions are gradually lifting lockdown restrictions and Moscow has reopened non-essential shops and hairdressers.

The US has the world's largest number of cases by far at 2.16 million.

Putin told state television the coronavirus pandemic had exposed "deep-seated internal crises" in the US.

He criticized a lack of strong leadership on the virus situation, saying that "the [US] president says we need to do such-and-such but the governors somewhere tell him where to go."

"I think the problem is that group interests, party interests are put higher than the interests of the whole of society and the interests of the people," he said.

In Russia, however, he argued, the government and regional leaders work "as one team" and do not differ from the official line.

"I doubt anyone in the government or the regions would say 'we're not going to do what the government says, what the president says, we think it's wrong,'" Putin said of the virus strategy.

When the northern Caucasus region of Dagestan suffered particularly hard from the virus, "the whole country rallied to help," he said.

Russia has so far reported 6,948 COVID-19 fatalities, a fraction of the US total of 117,858 deaths, although critics have suggested that the remarkably low number could be down to under-reporting.

Russia has now begun giving fuller information on deaths, including cases where coronavirus appeared to be the cause but was not detected by tests, and cases where the virus was confirmed but not considered the main cause of death.

Using this new method, Russia on Saturday published official figures for viral deaths in April of 2,712, more than twice the figure of 1,152 previously reported by the task force. 

Putin also criticized anti-racism protests in the US for sparking crowd violence, in his first comments on the issue.

"If this fight for natural rights, legal rights, turns into mayhem and rioting, I see nothing good for the country," the Russian leader said in his televised broadcast.

He stressed he supported black Americans' struggle for equality, calling this "a longstanding problem of the United States."

"We always in the USSR and in modern Russia had a lot of sympathy for the struggle of African-Americans for their natural rights," he insisted.



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