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Denis Protsenko, chief physician of Moscow's City Clinical Hospital Number 40 in Kommunarka
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‘They’re walking biological weapons and they don’t understand’ The ‘BBC’ interviewed hospital chief physician Denis Protsenko about Moscow's coronavirus outbreak. Here's a quick summary of what he said.

Source: Russian BBC
Denis Protsenko, chief physician of Moscow's City Clinical Hospital Number 40 in Kommunarka
Denis Protsenko, chief physician of Moscow's City Clinical Hospital Number 40 in Kommunarka
Valery Sharifulin / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

We have patients older than 65, but they’re not seriously ill. There’s not a single patient in Moscow on a ventilator. There are nine people in intensive care, but none of them is in critical condition. We can’t stop patients from escaping — what are we going to do? Twist their arms behind their backs? We talk to them, but they don’t hear us and they don’t understand that they’re walking biological weapons. And it’s the opposite with a lot of other people: they complain that they aren’t getting enough attention, though they haven’t even tested positive for the virus. And then they write on Facebook: “Nobody’s treating me.” We don’t know when the epidemic will peak. We’re just doing our jobs and nothing there has changed. It’s in vogue now to trash the healthcare system, but we have a team that’s working great. I marvel at our doctors. They’re working overtime and volunteers are coming to the hospital. The media needs to stop the hysteria. A panic only interferes with our work, sending people to clinics for no reason, costing us valuable resources. Healthy people don’t need to wear masks — they won’t help you. If you’re sick or have come into contact with those who are sick, only self-isolation is the most effective measure right now. Closing down the city would protect everyone in it. It’s just a question of cost. The real question is how far we’re willing to go.

Summary by Grigory Levchenko

Translation by Kevin Rothrock