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WHO says Russia could start 'gradually' easing partial lockdown in 2 weeks, amid a record daily spike in Covid-19 cases

WHO says Russia could start 'gradually' easing partial lockdown in 2 weeks, amid a record daily spike in Covid-19 cases
A WHO representative suggested that Russia could start partially easing Covid-19 restrictions soon if the situation develops in the right way. However, new data in relation to infections adds more uncertainty to the situation.

One month on from Putin’s announcement of a Russian partial lockdown, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking at a coronavirus-focused roundtable hosted by Russian news agency TASS, Dr. Melita Vujnovic, the World Health Organization Representative in Russia, stated that measures could soon be eased if the country sees a downward trend within the next two weeks. “I am very happy that, over the past ten days, we have seen a decrease in the growth rate, and today in Moscow we have seen a significant decrease in cases of infection,” she said.

“Of course, this should be monitored very carefully in the next two weeks, and then, we hope, we will be able to move into a phase where we can gradually relax the restrictive measures.”

However, the Russian government is in no rush to open up. Speaking to New York-based TV channel RTVI, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear that nothing would return to normal any time soon – including aviation.

“We can predict anything, but no one has a clear understanding,” he explained, when asked whether it is possible to guess when international air traffic would resume.

Peskov has been consistent in refusing to make any specific forecasts. Yesterday, when asked about a Singaporean study that suggested Russia’s battle with Covid-19 could end on August 19, he told journalists “it is impossible to state the end date of the epidemic.” 

In a televised meeting with the heads of Russia’s regions, President Vladimir Putin announced that the country’s self-isolation regime would continue until May 11, and gave the government a week to draw up plans to gradually ease restrictive measures.  

Also on rt.com Putin prolongs nationwide paid leave and partial lockdown until May 11 as daily Covid-19 infections surge

On Thursday, Russia saw a record daily spike, with over 7,000 new infections, bringing the total number to 106,498 confirmed cases of Covid-19. According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has the eighth highest number of infections in the world.

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