Coronavirus Taking Hold In Russia As COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

As U.S. President Donald Trump angles to reopen the American economy and several states make moves to ease restrictions on commerce and revise social distancing guidelines, the coronavirus pandemic that inspired those actions has begun to take hold in a major way in Russia. According to The Guardian, Russia is now displaying the second-highest rate of COVID-19 infection in the world.

The Guardian is reporting that there were 9,623 new cases recorded in the country on Saturday, which would be a new record high. That report comes just one day after Russian housing and construction minister Vladimir Yakushev was hospitalized with coronavirus. He was just the latest in a string of Russian officials to test positive; on Thursday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that he had been infected with coronavirus and that he would be self-quarantining to protect his colleagues.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin -- who recently extended the country's lockdown -- has been working from his home outside of Moscow and has not been seen out in public over the last month.

Where Moscow is concerned, the capital city of Russia could be particularly hard hit by the increasing spread of coronavirus -- and may have been already -- according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. As reported by The Guardian, Sobyanin indicated on Saturday that up to two percent (or 1-in-50) of Moscow's residents could already be infected. That would equate to more than 240,000 Muscovites having COVID-19.

Hospitals in the city are said to be filled to capacity already.

Per The Moscow Times, Russia had 114,431 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Friday, which represents the eighth-highest total worldwide, as well as 1,169 deaths, most of which have been recorded in and around Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The larger spread of COVID-19 was delayed in Russia -- numbers remained relatively low there during the earlier stages of the pandemic while other countries in the region struggled to contain the coronavirus.

Now, cases are on the rise there and the prevailing thought is that a plateau is not imminent.

Meanwhile, some American citizens believe that their country has already seen the worst COVID-19 has to offer and are protesting for their local governments to reopen commerce. Trump has defended the protesters -- even those in Michigan who showed up at the state Capitol building armed with weapons. The president has opined that it would be in the best interest of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to make a deal with them and that the protestors are "good people," as reported by The Inquisitr.