Moscow’s Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has ordered many businesses to send workers home to head off a surge in COVID-19 cases. Infections have doubled in the last few days. It’s the first time this year that tough measures have been imposed in the Russian capital.
Throughout the pandemic, President Vladimir Putin has claimed Russia has handled it better than most.
But the intensive care units in Moscow’s hospitals tell a different story. More than three quarters of COVID-19 beds are full.
The mayor has now ordered a ‘week off’ – work-free days with pay for all non-essential workers – as authorities try to slow the spread.
Doctors are glad some social distancing measures are back. But as cases surge they’re worried by what they see.
Some Muscovites are also worried, but for different reasons. Out enjoying the early summer, the new restrictions are a reminder that life isn’t back to normal yet.
As Moscow prepares for a week at home, doctors and politicians agree that the only way out is to ramp up the vaccine drive.
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