Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

Covid-19 cases tick up in Russia to highest level in 2 months

MOSCOW (REUTERS) – New cases of Covid-19 in Russia have risen to 6,595, official daily data showed on Thursday (Sept 24), the biggest rise in over two months, and new infections in Moscow surpassed 1,000 for the first time since late June.

Russia exited lockdown in early June, and many shops, businesses and the transport network in Moscow are now operating as usual, though office occupancy rates remain sharply lower.

Guidelines on social distancing remain in place, and people must wear face coverings in shops and public transport in the Russian capital, though some flout those rules that are not rigorously enforced.

Passengers on planes arriving from abroad have their temperatures checked by special infrared scanners, and many bars and restaurants in Moscow carry out temperature checks too.

The Covid-19 crisis response centre said on Thursday that daily cases in Moscow had hit 1,050, higher than in any other city or region.

Officials in the capital have insisted there will not be another lockdown, however, and have played down the prospect of a second wave. New daily cases in Moscow have not fallen below 531 since June 23.

The response centre said 149 people had died nationwide in the last 24 hours. That took the overall national death toll to 19,948.

Russia’s case tally of 1,128,836 is the fourth-largest in the world.

Ms Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s consumer health watchdog, said in a resolution published late on Wednesday that Russians returning from abroad by plane would have to self-isolate from now on until they could produce a negative coronavirus test.

A mandatory two-week quarantine for anyone returning to Russia from abroad was abolished in July. Foreigners must provide a negative Covid-19 test.

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