MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. Moscow officials can lift the highest amount of restrictions introduced to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic by July 1, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. He noted that Moscow can continue lifting restrictions without the threat of new spikes in the infection rate.
Sobyanin added that a schedule for lifting the restrictions may be published on June 8.
Starting Monday June 1, 55% of all shops closed due to the coronavirus have been opened. The rest is set to open next week, Sobyanin said. Besides, two thirds of the service industry enterprises have reopened after receiving the corresponding permit.
However, it is "a little bit too early" to open some facilities like gyms and fitness centers, he stated.
The Moscow mayor added that it is too early to allow mass events in the city, however, weekend fairs will reopen soon. On June 6-8, a book festival will be held on the Red Square that will be attended by up to 18,000 people.
The cost of the fight against the novel coronavirus in Moscow comes up to 750 bln rubles (about $10.8 bln). In order to ensure that all social obligations are met, the city will cut down expenditures on renovation works, the mayor said.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 6,586,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 388,200 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 3,181,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 441,108 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 204,623 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 5,384 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.