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Coronavirus Crisis Strains Russia’s Soviet-Era Regional Health System

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KARABANOVO, Russia—In mid-April, when the hospital in this hardscrabble rural town saw its first confirmed coronavirus infections, the district’s chief doctor ordered 16 nurses and doctors to quarantine at the facility, together with 40 patients, many suspected of having the virus.

The health workers cared for the sick without any protection such as masks, said Nina Rogova, 46 years old, a nurse at Karabanovo hospital, in the Vladimir region some 130 miles northeast of Moscow. The hospital’s management threatened them with…

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