Meeting with St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov 2020-11-03 18:40:00 St Petersburg Vladimir Putin met with St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov aboard the new Russian diesel-electric icebreaker Viktor Chernomyrdin. They discussed issues of countering the coronavirus and prospects for developing the metro in the city. Alexander Beglov thanked the President for the tangible support in countering the coronavirus. On the President’s instructions, the Government of the Russian Federation allocated 21 billion rubles to the city for this purpose. This sum was used to pay benefits to doctors, and to purchase medications, equipment and personal protection gear. In addition, almost 31 billion rubles were allocated to St Petersburg, as well as other regions, for social support, notably, for families with children, teachers, pensioners and social workers. The Governor reported that about 64,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in St Petersburg during the pandemic. Now the city has surpassed the threshold of 900 infections per day. Today, there are 21 hospitals and 7,913 COVID beds. Approximately 80 percent of the available beds are occupied. The construction of four new convertible inpatient facilities was started in June. They will be put into service in December, increasing the bed space by another 1,200 beds. The President and the Governor also discussed metro construction. Metrostroy, the city’s general contractor for underground railway projects, is on the verge of bankruptcy. The city holds 25 percent of the company and has little to do with managing its assets, most of which belong to private owners. A solution was found with assistance from VTB Bank. It will transfer 65 percent of its shares to a newly established joint-stock company free of charge, and the city’s metro projects will not be interrupted. Governor Beglov thanked the President for his assistance in resolving these problems.