Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that despite a big increase in production and import of PPE, there is a shortage of protective equipment for health workers on the frontline of the crisis. Mr Putin warned that the peak of the coronavirus infection rate had not yet been reached in the country, and the population must remain vigilant.

Russia’s lockdown aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19 was extended until 11 May. It has more than 93,000 coronavirus cases, with 867 recorded deaths.

Medics have complained about working without proper protective clothing, especially in Russia’s regions.

Russia is now producing 100,000 protective suits for medics per day, up from 3,000 a day in March, he said. Production of masks has also increased more than 10 times, to 8.5 million per day in April.

Mr Putin said that while the government had managed to “slow the spread” of the epidemic, Russians would have to self-isolate for longer. He said the lockdown would continue for two more weeks, though he instructed the government to draw up recommendations by 5 May for a gradual easing of restrictions.

“The deadly danger of the virus remains,” he said.