As of June 6, Moscow City launched a gradual removal of restrictions imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, according to virologists, the situation remains quite serious.
Moscow Abolishes Pass Control
As recommended by the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor,) the lifting of the lockdown restrictions that were introduced almost across the whole country should be removed step-by-step. As the first step taken on June 9, digital passes were canceled in Moscow. At present, people could again enjoy strolls and sports activities in the open air without time limits. Parks and gardens were gradually opened for public access. People over 65 were allowed to leave their home to take a walk outside.
As of June 16, museums, libraries, zoos, exhibition halls and rental offices resumed their routine operations. Advertising and other agencies also reopened. Restaurants or cafes were also reopened for visitors, but only on the summer terraces. Additionally, dental clinics resumed their work.
At the final stage that began on Jun 23, Moscow residents enjoyed an opportunity to visit the reopened fitness clubs and swimming pools. Children can again play on playgrounds. In addition, the riverboats have resumed cruises on the Moskva river.
During the pandemic, 215,014 cases of the novel coronavirus were recorded, and more than 136,670 people recovered from the disease. As previously reported by Sergei Sobyanin, the number of new cases is being reduced, and more patients are being discharged from hospitals as those who are being admitted. It was this fact that provided Sobyanin with the grounds for the gradual removal of quarantine measures.
At the same time, Moscow maintains the strict regulations for wearing face masks and protective gloves.
Moscow Mayor Catches Last Train
It turned out that Sobyanin supported the strict quarantine regime and listened to the opinion of virologists and doctors, first of all, trying to act in the interests of people. According to experts, his actions helped curtail the novel coronavirus in a multi-million megalopolis. However, many Muscovites criticized the introduction of overly strict self-isolation measures in the Russian capital, considering them unjustified and far-fetched.
Meanwhile, there is an opinion that the abrupt lifting of quarantine measures might aggravate the situation around COVID-19 and affect the nationwide vote on amendments to the Constitution, which is already scheduled for July 1.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin instructed various ministries and legal experts to check the regulations that were adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. This also included the decrees by Sergei Sobyanin. Lawyers and officials of these departments were recommended to pay special attention to the resolutions that notably affected the interests and rights of the Russians.
The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health were entrusted with making this analysis. The plan suggests Rospotrebnadzor and Moscow’s Government will be also involved.
As noted, if, for example, Moscow’s Public Chamber recognizes the self-isolation measures taken on Sobyanin’s instructions illegitimate, then Moscow Mayor will have to cancel his decree. In addition, he will have to independently pay the damages to businesses. However, according to experts, Sobyanin canceled the quarantine measures prior to the inspection by the Justice Ministry’s commission. In doing so, he caught the last train.
Trips Abroad are Allowed, but not for Everyone
The Russian government has allowed certain categories of Russians to travel abroad. This applies primarily to those who have sick relatives living in other countries and requiring care. People will be also allowed to go abroad for work or study. The Russians standing in need of medical assistance will also be allowed to leave the country without any restrictions.
Situation Deteriorating, Says WHO
Somewhat earlier this month, a special date has been “celebrated.” A total of 180 days passed from the day of the discovery of the first COVID-19 patient in the Chinese city of Wuhan. On 8 March, 90 days ago, the WHO declared a pandemic. More than 8.92 mln cases of the disease have already been registered in 188 countries. Almost а half of them, 4.41 mln people, have recovered. The virus has taken the told of 467,000 lives. As regards the number of people infected with COVID-19 (592,000 people), Russia holds the third position after the United States and Brazil.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the global situation with COVID-19 is getting worse, although there is some improvement in the European countries. Therefore, every country should ensure that it “does not take its foot off the pedal,” referring to the fight against the novel coronavirus. Although many countries have entered the phase of lifting restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation remains tense. People are asked to take the essential precautions. Virologists and doctors warn that there might be a new surge of the virus infection in the fall.