MOSCOW, July 16. /TASS/. Moscow’s municipal authorities hope to avoid another ‘severe outbreak' of the coronavirus infection in the Russian capital, and a new lockdown is very unlikely, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told the Komsomolskaya Pravda radio station on Thursday.
"I believe we still have more chances to avoid this [a new lockdown in the city]. It’s clear that there are risks and we need to look at them straightforwardly. But I hope we will still manage to avoid any severe outbreaks," Sobyanin said.
The Moscow mayor noted that in countries that have an extensive land mass the virus spreads gradually, through waves, striking one region after another. In his words, the onset of the coronavirus in the Moscow Region was two or three weeks behind Moscow, while St. Petersburg and the Far East were one month and 1.5 months behind the capital, respectively.
"In New York, this peak in cases occurred in April-May and in other states later, and some of them were shut down and placed under a strict quarantine. But then in any case, without passing through the epidemiological situation, they caught the virus and start getting severely ill. And this is not the second or the third wave. The regions simply have not overcome this situation," the mayor said.
Moscow introduced a state of high alert over the novel coronavirus pandemic starting from March 5 and imposed a lockdown starting on March 29. All stores, except for those selling essentials and goods for pets, were shut down. Theaters, restaurants, cafes, gyms, beauty salons and parks were closed. In addition, all entertainment events were prohibited. People were strongly advised to go into self-isolation. Restrictions began to be gradually rolled back in mid-May as the situation improved. On June 9, the lockdown measures and travel passes were lifted but precautionary measures remained in place such as wearing face masks and gloves in public places and observing social distancing. The next stage of lifting restrictions is scheduled for August 1.
To date, 231,801 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Moscow, with more than 168,000 patients having recovered from the disease. The death toll in the city reached 4,258.