Moscow’s authorities refute media allegations about first COVID cases in January

TASS Russian News Agency | Jun 2, 2020 at 8:55 PM

MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. Moscow's authorities have refuted media reports about first coronavirus cases in the city in mid-January.

Head of Moscow's information technologies department Eduard Lysenko told journalists on Tuesday his department's specialists began to work on technical solutions that could be used to help curb the infection spread.

Meduza online media outlet said earlier citing an Ekho Moskvy radio station journalist that Lysenko had said in an interview with Habru that the first coronavirus cases had been registered in the capital city in early or mid-January. According to Meduza, since then the department's specialists have been working round-the-clock.

"China notified about the coronavirus outbreak in late December. Despite the fact that no coronavirus cases were registered in Russia and Moscow at that time, the city authorities began to get prepared for the potential threat beforehand. So, in mid-January we began to develop various technological solutions to help the city cope with possible spread of the coronavirus infection. This is what was meant in the interview with Habru. The first officially confirmed coronavirus case was registered in Moscow in early March," Lysenko said.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 6,383,800 people have been infected worldwide and more than 377,700 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,920,880 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, a total of 423,741 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 186,985 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia's latest data indicates 5,037 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.