For mild virus cases, Moscow doctors are video-calling
MOSCOW, Apr 8: A grey-haired Muscovite speaks via video link from his flat. Diagnosed with the coronavirus late last month, he tells a doctor he doesn't feel too bad but is still wheezing.
This is a consultation via Moscow's new telemedicine centre, where doctors treat those who have tested positive but are well enough to stay at home.
They are monitored remotely by medical workers looking out for any signs of their condition deteriorating -- the doctors call the patients regularly and the patients call in when they feel the need.
The young doctor taking the call, Sevana Mamedova, tells the patient he should call a doctor to his home to listen to his chest and check his lungs are clean.
The shiny new centre in a huge school building was launched by the city government in Moscow -- the capital is the epicentre of Russia's outbreak.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has also led the swift construction of a dedicated hospital, which is due to open in two weeks.
In the pristine telemedicine centre, white-coated doctors sit in cubicles gazing at screens and talking into headsets under a mural featuring British scientist Michael Faraday.
So far the number of calls is not that heavy.
"We are ready to increase our capacity," says chief doctor Andrei Tyazhelnikov, as cases in Russia grow daily.
On Wednesday the number of confirmed cases jumped by more 1,000 to reach 8,672, most of them in Moscow, with 63 deaths.
"The telemedicine centre was created specially for patients with confirmed coronavirus infection whose condition allows them to be under observation at home," says the chief doctor, who headed a large clinic before the outbreak. -AFP