| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Moscow embarks on sweeping lockdown as COVID-19 deaths surge

Russia’s hospitals are confronting a rising wave of coronavirus cases that has sent one-day pandemic deaths to record highs, and this has pushed it on Thursday to impose stricter lockdown measures since June 2020.

The incomplete lockdown, in which only vital shops like pharmacies and supermarkets are allowed to remain open, while schools and state kindergartens are shut, comes ahead of a nationwide week-long workplace closure from Oct. 30.

Like Moscow, some regions decided to begin their partial lockdowns on Thursday or earlier, ahead of the nationwide initiative.

Moscow’s residents are permitted to leave their homes freely unlike the lockdown of summer 2020, but the new measures point to rising concern among officials over record numbers of deaths that the Kremlin has held responsible on the slow vaccination rate.

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There were mixed feelings about the lockdown on the streets of Moscow on Thursday. Some residents like Lyubov Machekhina said they thought it would apparently help slow infections.

Others like Mikhail, a Muscovite who did not give his surname, voiced doubts that there would be any real impact without a larger chunk of the population being vaccinated or having other immunity.

  • Reuters