Moscow imposes new virus restrictions as cases remain high


MOSCOW (AP) – The mayor of Moscow on Tuesday announced new restrictions in the event of a pandemic, saying the situation in the capital where the delta variant of the virus is spreading remains “very difficult”.

The country’s state coronavirus task force on Tuesday reported 6,555 new cases of COVID-19 in Moscow and a total of 16,715 new infections across Russia, twice as many as a month ago .

“The decisions we make are difficult, unpopular, but necessary to save lives,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in an online statement, adding that more than 14,000 people with severe COVID-19 remain in hospitals across the country. city.

He attributed the peak of infection to the delta variant which first appeared in India.

Sobyanin has banned all entertainment and sporting events attended by more than 500 people as of Tuesday.

And as of Monday, all restaurants, cafes and bars in Moscow will only allow customers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the virus in the past six months, or can provide a negative coronavirus test. performed within the previous 72 hours.

To prove their credentials, customers will need to get a QR code from one of the many government websites.

Coronavirus infections increased in the Russian capital two weeks ago, prompting city officials to order mandatory vaccinations for workers in retail, education and other service sectors. The Russians have largely avoided vaccination, and less than 13% of the population has received at least one injection of a coronavirus vaccine.

Sobyanin said on Tuesday that with the introduction of mandatory vaccinations, the number of Muscovites who received at least one injection topped 2 million, just under 16% of the city’s 12.7 million people.

Life in Moscow, like most of Russia, has remained largely normal after the lockdown restrictions were lifted last summer. Russian authorities have resisted the closure of businesses or the imposition of another lockdown when infections soared in the fall and winter, and continue to reject the idea of ​​a lockdown for the current outbreak.

More than 5.3 million confirmed infections have been reported to date in the 146 million country, with 130,347 deaths.


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