Russia reported 2,186 new coronavirus or COVID-19 cases on Sunday which is the largest increase since the start of the deadly outbreak, as the authorities announced more measures to contain the spread of the virus including restrictions on Easter services.
Many regions including Moscow have been under lockdown since the last two weeks to contain the spread but the number of cases was always on the rise to reach 15,770 on April 12.
Russia imposes restrictions on Easter services
The Russian Orthodox Church, which observes Easter this year on April 19, ordered churches in Moscow and the surrounding region to close their doors to large groups during the Holy Week leading up to the holiday.
Moscow authorities also clamped down on those venturing outside without a reason, such as to buy food or medicine, get medical treatment, walk the dog or take out the rubbish. The capital, with more than 12.5 million people, issued 1,358 fines for breaking the rules on Saturday, its coronavirus crisis centre said. Moscow is preparing to introduce digital permits next week to control movement around the city to help enforce the lockdown.
Russia will not defeat the coronavirus in time to lift restrictions by May 9, when the capital normally hosts an annual military parade to celebrate victory in World War Two, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova told state TV. "Should we be disciplined, able to listen to ourselves and those recommendations applied today, then we'll successfully get out of this situation and will shake each others' hands by the summer," Golikova said in an interview released on Sunday.
(With agency inputs)