Moscow will not impose curfew despite rise in coronavirus infections – mayor

FILE PHOTO: Paramedics wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) enters the house of a patient, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the village of Vybiti, Novgorod Region, Russia December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Moscow will not impose a curfew or curb alcohol sales during the New Year holiday, despite a rise in coronavirus cases, the mayor of the Russian capital was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency on Sunday.

Russia, which began vaccinating exposed groups in Moscow, a city of nearly 13 million, earlier in December, has resisted imposing a strict lockdown as it did early this year, relying on targeted measures instead.

“We do not restrict meetings, nor do we declare curfews,” Interfax reported, citing the mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

“Tightening (anti virus restrictions) is only possible when the medical system can no longer cope with the flow of patients. There is no such situation in Moscow. The safety margin is still quite large,” he added.

Russian officials reported 488 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the country’s official death toll to 46,941.

Authorities on Sunday also confirmed 28,080 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the previous 24 hours, including 6,425 in Moscow, pushing the national tally to 2,653,928 since the pandemic began.

Russian President Vladimir Putin lives in the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow and is being tested regularly for the coronavirus “to ensure his safety,” his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by another new agency, TASS.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Polina Devitt; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Barbara Lewis

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