Coronavirus spikes in Arkhangelsk

Two naval yards in the region have been especially hit by the outbreak.

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - June 3, 2020
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The coronavirus is spreading more quickly in Arkhangelsk region. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer)

A total of 239 new cases of coronavirus infection were registered in Arkhangelsk region on June 2, bringing it into the top-five list of Russian regions with the fastest virus spread.

So far, Arkhangelsk has seen only modest infection rates, but that could change. Over the last weeks, the region has daily had more than 100 new cases, which is significantly more than the neighboring regions.

A total of 2,409 people in the region are now registered as carriers of the virus.

The naval yards of Sevmash and Zvezdochka are the hotbeds of the regional virus outbreak. The yards, which employ many thousands of people, are cornerstone companies in Severodvinsk, a city of about 183,000 people.

According to regional health authorities, Severodvinsk now has a total of 1,066 infected, of them 798 workers in the two naval yards.

Many of the cases have been registered over the last few days. On the 2nd of June, a total of 109 new cases were registered in the city, of them 90 at Sevmash and Zvezdochka, Severodvinsk city authorities inform.

Regional health authorities are now seeking to expand treatment capacity. On 3 June, Governor Aleksandr Tsybulsky announced that Hospital No. 2 in Severodvinsk from now on exclusively will handle COVID-19 patients.

That will allow the city to expand treatment capacity with up to 200 people, regional Health Minister Anton Karpunov said.

Shipyard Sevmash is building all of Russia’s new nuclear submarines. Currently, at least eight new vessels are under construction on site, among them four Borey-class and four Yasen-class subs.

Despite the virus outbreak, the construction works continue. On June 1, the yard officially handed over new sub Knyaz Vladimir to the Northern Fleet.

The Knyaz Vladimir is the first new ballistic missile submarine delivered to the Northern Fleet since January 2013, when the first of the Borei-class, the “Yury Dolgoruky” entered service.