Russia mentioned on Thursday that it is already getting ready for a new wave of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic in the autumn, after the officials reported the lowest daily increase in the new cases of the deadly novel virus since May 1.

The European nation has rapidly relaxed the lockdown restrictions in the last fortnight, as it confirmed a gradual decrease in the number of daily new cases of the infections, from a peak of 11,656 on May 11.

Russia Preparing for New Wave of COVID-19

Coronavirus
Coronavirus IANS

On Thursday, officials confirmed 7,790 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the nationwide tally to 561,091, as well as 182 deaths that brought the death toll to 7,660. Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Anna Popova, the head of the state consumer health watchdog, said she hoped the outbreak would continue to recede this summer but that Russia must be ready it for to worsen.

"... the risks that this epidemic will return to growth and development in autumn are fairly high, we are currently preparing for that," she said. Kremlin critics have accused the authorities of lifting restrictions too fast to pave the way for a nationwide vote on reforms that would allow President Vladimir Putin run twice more for president after his current term ends in 2024.

The Kremlin has denied the decision to allow the vote to take place was politically motivated. Residents of Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region, were allowed this week to visit museums and restaurant terraces for the first time in more than two months. The city is also preparing to hold a grand military parade in Moscow on June 24 to commemorate the Soviet World War Two victory.

(With agency inputs)