MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Russia is on the threshold of the COVID-2019 pandemic peak and a downtrend may be expected at the end of April or May, the chief of the epidemiology and evidence-based medicine department of the Sechenov medical university, Nikolai Briko, has said.
"What we are seeing today is not a peak yet," said Briko, the Health Ministry’s chief epidemiologist. "The list of those infected keeps growing in this country and around the world. I believe that we are pretty close to the peak. I would like to think so. I believe that late April and early May is the period when there will be far fewer new cases and the epidemic will subside," he said.
Briko explained that the seasonal factor was of great importance to the new coronavirus and other respiratory infections, which tend to get most active in the autumn, winter and early spring.
"It’s a general biological law. I believe that it is true of this infection as well," Briko said. Also, he speculated that the growth in the number of newly-identified cases might be related to an increase in the number of tests across the country.
"Testing is now being made not only by Rospotrebnadzor laboratories. Such right has been granted to the laboratories of medical organizations that work with group three and group four microrganisms. By and large the situation will be changing in the near future, because the measures being taken in the country will certainly reduce the number of new cases," he concluded.
As of March 31, Russia has registered 2,337 COVID-19 cases. A total of 121 patients have recovered. Most of those infected are in Moscow (1,613). According to the federal anti-coronavirus center, as at 12:00 on March 31 17 had died from the virus. The Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public informed about the coronavirus situation.