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Coronavirus infection in Moscow yet to reach its peak — mayor

According to the official, up to 50% of Moscow citizens are currently effectively quarantined

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin believes that the Russian capital is yet to pass the peak of the current novel coronavirus outbreak.

"We are only at the start of this peak of the disease, let us hope that it will be more smooth and painless than in other countries," he told Russia’s TV Center channel.

"I don’t know about our regions, I can only guess," he added.

According to the official, up to 50% of Moscow citizens are currently effectively quarantined amid the coronavirus spread.

"Everyone keeps saying ‘quarantine,’ ‘state of emergency,’ but those are just words; one must understand what is behind them: restriction of rights and freedoms of the citizens. We do all the same things, but we don’t give them big names," the mayor said. "People coming from abroad, having to stay self-isolated - isn’t this quarantine? There are 2 million seniors, self-isolated at home - isn’t this quarantine? When we told 1.5 million pupils to stay at home - isn’t this quarantine? When we asked the employers to switch the staff to remote work, where possible […] isn’t this quarantine? In fact, 40%-50% of people are in quarantine," he said.

. Moscow authorities check all news about the coronavirus for credibility, Sobyanin added.

"I seek to double check all [potential] fake news [on the coronavirus]," he said.

A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December 2019. Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported from more than 150 countries and territories, including Russia. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially described the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic.

According to latest reports, the number of those infected worldwide topped 433,000, approximately 4.71% of them - or about 20,400 people - died. A total of 658 confirmed cases have been registered in Russia so far, with no deaths. 29 people have already recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.