A photo report from inside the coronavirus hospital in Murmansk

Nikolay Palchenko was sitting next to a coughing fellow passenger on the plane from Moscow to Murmansk. A few days later, also Nikolay got sick and ended up at the infectious diseases department at the regional hospital from where he made this photo-report.
July 29, 2020
“All the passengers on the Murmansk-bound plane were wearing masks. Until food was served,” Nikolay Palchenko tells from the tour when he most likely got infected by the coronavirus.

Today, Nikolay is looking out at the good summer weather in Murmansk through the windows from the regional hospital. A hospital which premises recently was refurbished for Covid-19 patients.

Nikolay now shares his photos from the inside with regional online mmk.news and the Barents Observer. He shares a room with six other patients.

“This is how food is delivered,” he tells and points at the nightstand. “I don’t feel the taste, but the appetite is minimal.” Loss of smell and taste are common symptoms of Covid-10.

The disinfectant dispenser in the room is empty, but there is one in the corridor. “Toilet paper was sometimes available,” he tells pointing to the WC room where the broken toilet seat stands against the wall.

Like many other medical institutions across northern Russia, this hospital in Murmansk is doing its best to coop with the outbreak of Covid-19. Murmansk is now one of the worst regions in Russia, counting infections per capita.

156 new cases were registered during the last 24 hours, according to the Vkontakte page monitoring the outbreak in the region. The total number of infections is now close to 10,000. 120 of last day’s new infections are in the city of Murmansk, the world’s largest city above the Arctic Circle.

66 people are hospitalized since yesterday. 4,179 are being treated for Covid-19, while 1,261 are in self-isolations. Murmansk region has just under 750,000 inhabitants.

The good news is that 220 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours and were discharged from treatment. A total of 5,697 people have recovered since the first infections were discovered in the region since in March, regional authorities inform.  

Nikolay Palchenko writes in his report posted at mmk.news from the hospital that a lot of doctors and nurses get sick. “According to subjective estimates, already half of the staff have either been ill or are ill,” he says after talking to an ambulance doctor and a nurse on duty.

Nikolay explains that his symptoms are very similar to the flu. No runny nose, no sore throat, but the temperature has risen.  

“Doctors and staff here are the heroes, of course,” Nikolay says.

By July 29, Russia has confirmed 828,990 cases of coronavirus and 13,673 deaths.

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