Sergei Sobyanin: Moscow avoids worst-case coronavirus pandemic scenario

May 21, 2020

Moscow has managed to prevent a worst-case coronavirus pandemic scenario, Sergei Sobyanin said at Rossiya 1 television channel.

According to Mr Sobyanin, a forecast, made several weeks ago, implied that the city would face a drastic increase in COVID 19 cases in mid-May, and that many seriously ill patients would have to be taken to hospital.

“We faced a tremendous lot of stress, while predicting and bracing ourselves for such a gloomy future, but, of course, this was a gloomy forecast. It did not come true, and this was mostly thanks to city residents who fulfilled the current requests and recommendations, now being enforced in the city,” Sergei Sobyanin said.

Nor did Moscow face a humanitarian disaster like in a number of European and American cities.

“This is probably the main result of our work in previous weeks and months,” Mr Sobyanin noted.

Nevertheless, the capital will have to live and work in conditions of coronavirus restrictions, needed to prevent the infection from spreading, for a long time, Mr Sobyanin pointed out.

“We should understand that it is impossible to quickly solve this problem, and we will have to live with the current restrictions for a long time,” Mr Sobyanin said.

According to Mr Sobyanin, people will be able to walk and exercise outdoors only when a ten-fold reduction in the number of new coronavirus cases is registered.

“After we see that the number of coronavirus-related deaths is decreasing, rather than increasing, when the number of seriously ill hospital patients shrinks considerably, and after we start recording dozens or hundreds of new cases, or maybe even less every day, rather than thousands. Because this is a tremendous risk. My desire does not matter; we need to make such decisions in a responsible way, so as to be able to prevent a relapse,” Mr Sobyanin added.

A screening programme to assess coronavirus immunity is another vital tool for fighting the disease. The first 10,000 people have already been tested for coronavirus antibodies.

“We launched this experiment, probably the most ambitious in the world. Every three to four days, we send random invitations to 70,000 people to undergo these tests, so that these invitations would be distributed evenly in various administrative areas and among various categories of city residents and age groups, etc.,” he said.

Large-scale tests make it possible to comprehend the overall situation with the coronavirus infection and its development trends.

“At the moment, it’s possible for us to conduct about 100,000 tests every day, and we hope to increase their number to 200,000 before the end of May. After that, we will launch the second stage when lab capacities increase. Then we will invite people in Moscow to undergo such tests and allow them to obtain appointments themselves,” Mr Sobyanin added.

Large-scale coronavirus immunity tests got underway on 15 May and they are conducted at 30 local outpatient clinics.

This research makes it possible to expose city residents who had contracted COVID- 19, recovered and now have coronavirus antibodies, as well as coronavirus cases with no symptoms. These people have no visible symptoms of the disease but can infect others without even suspecting it. By exposing people without any COVID-19 symptoms, it will become possible to isolate them and to prevent the disease from spreading.

Moreover, tests make it possible to expose people who had experienced light and medium attacks and who had been infected two weeks ago. During that period, the virus can penetrate the lungs and a routine polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test may not expose it.

For more information about coronavirus prevention and treatment, call the hot line: + 7 (495) 870 4509 from 8 am to 9 pm daily or visit the special project website at

Coronavirus: Official information


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