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Moscow Authorities Ease Restrictions as Health Situation Improves

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Globe Live Media, Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The city of Moscow once again relaxed some restrictions imposed for months to curb the coronavirus pandemic, after registering a reduction in the number of infections despite the absence of confinement.

“The pandemic is receding and in these circumstances our duty is to create the conditions to reactivate the economy,” announced the mayor of the Russian capital, Sergei Sobianin.

Bars, restaurants and discos may remain open after 11pm and teleworking for 30% of people is no longer mandatory.

Sobianin’s decree does not include the authorization of public demonstrations at a time when supporters of the jailed opponent Alexei Navalni organized a new day of protests next weekend, for the second week in a row.

These concentrations, considered illegal, caused 1,500 arrests in Moscow last Saturday and another 4,000 in various parts of Russia. Sobianin called the demonstration in the capital “unacceptable” due to the pandemic.

From a health point of view, the situation in Moscow, where 12 million people live, is improving.

“More than 50% of the beds in the covid units are free, something that had not happened since mid-June,” he said.

On Tuesday, 2,317 new cases were registered in Moscow.

The Russian authorities did not order a general lockdown despite the upsurge in cases, in order to protect an already weakened economy.

The Kremlin has an ongoing vaccination campaign to curb the pandemic. According to official figures, Russia has registered 3.75 million cases of coronavirus and more than 70,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Ben Oakley
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