Putin considers using Armed Forces to combat Covid-19

Yesterday, President Vladimir Putin admitted that it could be possible to use "opportunities" and "reserves" of the Ministry of Defense in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in Russia. Representatives of the ministry said, however, that they estimate the situation with the coronavirus infection in the armed forces as "unstable."

As of March 30, three Russian military personnel were confirmed positive for COVID-19 infection, at least 133 more people remain under medical observation due to their contacts with the infected.

The Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation decided not to cancel the spring draft and intends to recruit 135,000 conscripts, although they are not going to be sent to military troops in the near future.

The epidemiological situation in the Russian armed forces is unstable, an unnamed source said. The ministry has prepared nearly 5,000 beds at 32 military hospitals, 11 of which "are ready for work within four hours under strict anti-epidemic conditions."  Forty-nine mobile sanitary-epidemiological groups were also set up for an operational response. The Ministry has 2 million medical disposable masks, 15,000 respirators, 100 insulating transport capsules, 10,000 disposable suits for infectious disease specialists, 3,000 medical protective suits of the Quartz type and continues purchasing necessary items.

It is worth noting that even in an emergency-case scenario, Russia will not be able to directly take advantage of the experience gained abroad. All military personnel arriving from foreign trips undergo a "mandatory two-week observation". This also applies to military doctors who are now serving in Italy and Serbia.