Sergei Sobyanin, the mayor of Russia’s capital Moscow, said on Thursday authorities may reimpose tough measures if the citizens ignore COVID-19 rules.
Sobyanin’s comments come after Moscow started to record increases in daily cases of infection. Authorities registered 2,424 new cases overnight, up from below 700 in new daily cases in early September. He added that hospitalisations of people infected with the virus were rising in the capital by around 5,000 per week.
On Thursday, Sobyanin ordered employers to send at least 30% of their staff to work remotely starting Monday. Last week, he extended an upcoming school holiday by a week to limit the spread of the virus.
“I hope these measures will be sufficient to halt the growth in the infection rate and we will not have to take any more severe measures. But if we neglect all these measures, then the likelihood that we will have to take tough measures is very high”, Sobyanin said.
Moscow closed down all public places in late March, and the restrictions were eased from mid-June.
On Thursday, Russia reported 8,945 new infections, its highest daily tally since June 12, pushing the national total to 1,185,231, the fourth-highest in the world. 169 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 20,891.