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5 Oct, 2020 19:15

Could Europe's largest city go back into lockdown? With Covid-19 cases rising, Moscow speculation says extreme measures imminent

Could Europe's largest city go back into lockdown? With Covid-19 cases rising, Moscow speculation says extreme measures imminent

If Moscow's coronavirus crisis doesn't improve over the next two weeks, the city's authorities will announce another period of self-quarantine, according to business daily Vedomosti, citing sources close to the mayor.

“City Hall is in a difficult situation,” a source apparently told the newspaper. “It now needs to find the right reasons to explain why coronavirus has returned and why it requires serious restrictions.”

The source also said that authorities need to carefully consider how to take steps “that don't finish off businesses” in the city.

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Despite the rumors swirling around the capital, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has denied that any Russian authorities are discussing a return to self-isolation. However, Putin's spokesman clarified that it is not up to the Kremlin to make such decisions. “I have not heard that there were any discussions on this issue,” Peskov said, urging journalists to pose their questions directly to the mayor's office, which “works very transparently.”

Moscow is currently in the midst of a dramatic spike in Covid-19 cases and leads the country in coronavirus infections. Earlier on Monday, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced that the city's schools would take an unexpected two-week vacation from October 5 in order to stem the spread of the disease throughout the capital. Sobyanin also recommended that Muscovites go back to working from home.

According to official government figures, Russia recorded 10,888 new coronavirus cases on Monday, with 3,537 in the capital. Moscow has been much harder hit by Covid-19 than the rest of Russia, with around a quarter (5,370) of the country’s total deaths (21 475) occurring there.

Also on rt.com Kremlin says 2nd Covid-19 lockdown isn't on the cards, as WHO urges Russia NOT to impose new quarantine due to mental health fears

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