The mayor of Moscow, at the forefront in Russia in the fight against the new coronavirus, announced Thursday additional measures including the closure from Saturday of all non-essential restaurants and shops.
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From March 28 to April 5, " restaurants, bars, cafes and canteens " as well as " retail businesses " except food stores and pharmacies will be closed , the mayor of the Russian capital announced on his blog, Sergei Sobianin.
" While understanding the feelings of Moscow believers, I recommend that they refrain from visiting places of worship during this period ," he added.
“ The restrictions introduced today are unprecedented in modern Moscow history and will create many inconveniences for the daily life of each person. But - believe me - they are absolutely necessary to slow the spread of the infection and reduce the number of cases, "says Sobianin.
Since Thursday, the ban on people over 65 or those suffering from chronic diseases has also come into force.
Russia has officially registered 840 cases of patients with the new coronavirus, including 546 in Moscow, according to data released Thursday. This is a national increase of 182 cases over the past 24 hours. The two deaths from Covid-19 in Russia were patients hospitalized in Moscow.
While no general containment measures have yet been taken, these new measures are part of a tougher response by the Russian authorities to the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities will suspend all international air travel from Friday and President Vladimir Putin has declared a week off and postponed the vote on his constitutional reform scheduled for April 22.
The government has also ordered the closure of most public places in the Russian regions, where little action has so far been taken against the coronavirus.