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Judge rejects motion to arrest owner of Russian hostel where 123 people got COVID-19

A written plea not to leave has been chosen as a measure of restraint

ST. PETERSBURG, April 23. /TASS/. The Primorsky District Court in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg rejected a motion to place under arrest the owner of a hostel, where a total of 123 people had contracted the novel coronavirus.

"The motion to choose custody as a measure of pretrial restraint has been rejected. A written plea not to leave has been chosen as a measure of restraint," the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee’s Leningrad region department said.

An illegal hostel in the village of Novosergiyevka near St. Petersburg has earlier been inspected jointly by the Russia’s sanitary watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian Investigative Committee and police. A total of 472 people were inside the facility, offering accommodation to foreign citizens. According to latest information, novel coronavirus was confirmed in 123 of them.

Due to the great number of people who came in contact with the infected persons, the authorities decided to set up a mobile hospital on the adjacent territory in a bid to contain the outbreak. A criminal case was launched on charges of sanitary and epidemiological violations. Some individuals were ordered to stay in self-isolation.

The legal entity, which sub-leased the hostel, was ordered to carry out sanitary and de-contamination measures to prevent the disease from spreading. However, no measures were taken, and new cases were detected among those staying in the hostel.