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Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | Oct. 17

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— Moscow health authorities have more than doubled the city’s April death count from coronavirus or related cases as questions continue to surround Russia’s comparatively low mortality rate.

—  Russian authorities said that a small number of spectators would be allowed at stadiums when the country’s Premier League restarts its suspended season next month

Russia has confirmed 1,384,235 cases  of coronavirus  and 24,002  deaths .

Oct. 17:  What you need to know today Russia confirmed  14,922 new Covid-19 cases Saturday, bringing its official number of cases to 1,384,235. Russia resumed flights with Serbia and Cuba on Oct. 15 and will resume flights with Japan from Nov. 1, the RBC news website reported , citing Russia‘s air transport agency Rosaviatsia. Starting Oct. 19, Muscovites will be required to register their phone numbers before they can enter bars and nightclubs in order to control the spread of coronavirus, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday. People will be required to scan a QR code or send a text message to a designated number when entering a bar or club after midnight. In the surrounding Moscow region, all nighttime entertainment after midnight will be prohibited starting Oct. 17. Oct. 16

Passengers without face masks and gloves won’t be allowed to enter the Moscow metro starting Friday.

Oct. 14

Russia has approved its second coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin  announced  as the peptide-based shot developed by a Siberian biotech company readies for large-scale trials.

— Russia plans to resume flights to Japan, Serbia and Cuba starting next month, the country’s coronavirus crisis center  announced .

—  Russia has cleared two antiviral drugs called remdesivir for coronavirus treatment after doctors used the drugs to treat U.S. President Donald Trump, the Health Ministry  announced .

—  First-to-fifth graders in Moscow will be able to return to school starting next week, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said . Older students will continue to attend classes remotely for at least two more weeks.

Oct. 13

— President Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a Security Council commission tasked with creating a nationwide system for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. The commission will be headed by former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Nearly 96,000 people have been fined in Moscow for violating mask and glove-wearing requirements on public transport since May, a city transport official told the state-run TASS news agency Tuesday.

As Russia faces a deadly pandemic, a constitutional change that could keep the president in power for life and a swiftly warming climate, the need for free, independent and objective coverage of Russia has never been greater.

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—  Russia has carried out more than 500,000 coronavirus tests in a single day for the first time since the start of the pandemic, consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said .

Oct. 8

—  Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is self-isolating after coming into contact with a coronavirus-infected individual, the Church  announced .

Oct. 5

— Starting Monday, Moscow employers will be required to transfer 30% of their employees to remote work through Oct. 28 due to the city’s coronavirus situation. Workers over the age of 65 and those suffering from chronic diseases will also be required to work remotely. Workers at medical institutions, defense agencies, Rosatom and Roscosmos are exempt from the new rules.

Oct. 3

Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko has been hospitalized with double pneumonia, his wife said Saturday, days after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Oct. 2

—  Moscow could receive bulk shipments of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020 while the vaccine continues to undergo final clinical trials, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin  said .

Sept. 29

—  Moscow‘s schools will take a two-week vacation from Oct.5-18 in order to slow the city’s rise in coronavirus cases, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced , saying that a large number of asymptomatic cases are among children. 

—  The State Duma will partially return to remote work to prevent the spread of coronavirus, its speaker Vyacheslav Volodin announced Tuesday.

Volodin added that eight deputies have been hospitalized with coronavirus in the past week, bringing the total to 18. Overall, 60 State Duma deputies have been infected and recovered from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. 

Sept. 28

—  Around 5,000 volunteers including those who are at higher risk of severe infection have received Russia’s coronavirus vaccine as part of final clinical trials for safety and effectiveness, its developer  said .

Sept. 26

Russia’s coronavirus treatment drug Avifavir will be made available in 17 more countries in addition to the six countries where it is already sold, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund  said  in a statement Thursday. 

Russia’s second candidate vaccine against the coronavirus is less than a month away from state approval after completing small-scale human trials, the vaccine’s developers said this week.  

Sept. 25

—  Moscow is urging its businesses to reinstate work-from-home measures and elderly residents to avoid going outside starting next week as the city sees a new uptick in coronavirus cases, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin  said  Friday.

Sept. 24

—  Moscow confirmed more than 1,000 coronavirus cases for the first time since June 23.

—  Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has reportedly asked  Sberbank, Yandex and Rostec to resume remote work for some employees, the RBC news website reported , citing copies of Sobyanin‘s letters it obtained.

Sept. 22

President Vladimir Putin in a speech at the United Nations  boasted of Russia‘s creation of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, though it has not completed large-scale clinical trials.

— Russia will share legal liability for unexpected side effects of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the head of its sovereign wealth fund told Reuters, a move that could potentially result in costly compensation claims for its developers. 

—  At least 10 members of Russia’s lower house of parliament are currently hospitalized with coronavirus and more than 50 have developed antibodies, its speaker  said .

Sept. 21

—  Authorities in China’s eastern  Jilin province have discovered  traces of coronavirus on packages of frozen squid imported  from Russia , China’s state-run Xinhua news agency  reported . 

— Recruits in Moscow have reported no side effects after taking China’s candidate coronavirus vaccine as part of large-scale clinical trials, the Russian pharmaceutical company working with the vaccine’s Chinese developers  announced .

Sept. 19

— Russia said it will resume flights with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from Sept. 21 and with South Korea from Sept. 27.

Sept. 18

Russia said it will resume flights with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan from Sept. 21 and with South Korea from Sept. 27.

Sept. 16

—  Russia will sell 100 million doses of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to India once final trials and regulatory steps are completed, Russia’s sovereign fund that is bankrolling the project announced .

Sept. 11

—  Nearly half of Russians say they will never vaccinate against the coronavirus regardless of its country of production, according to a survey cited by the RBC news website.

Sept. 10

—  Moscow authorities will no longer require a two-week home quarantine period for people with symptoms of acute respiratory viral infection if the individuals test negative for coronavirus, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said .

—  The Bolshoi Theater has canceled its Sept. 10 performance of the opera “Don Carlos” after one of its soloists tested positive for the coronavirus. The iconic Moscow theater re-opened to the public for the first time since March on Sept. 6 and had staged two performances of “Don Carlos” so far.

Sept. 9

—  Russia has launched Phase 3 trials of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to determine the jab’s long-term safety and effectiveness, authorities said Wednesday.  A group of prominent scientists and doctors has questioned the published results of the vaccine’s initial trials.

Sept. 7

— Saudi King Salman and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the possible joint production of a Russian coronavirus vaccine, the Kremlin said.

Sept. 5

—  Russia recorded more than 30,000 excess deaths in July as the coronavirus pandemic continued to sweep across the country, new  data  from the country’s statistics service Rosstat has shown.

Sept. 4

For the first time since Aug. 15, more than 5,000 people were infected with coronavirus in Russia on Friday (5,100)  bringing the country’s official number of cases to 1,015,105. 

— 121 people died overnight. 17,649 have died since the start of the pandemic.

Russia has added Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives to the list of countries it plans to restart flights with five months after closing its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

—  Patients involved in early tests of a Russian coronavirus vaccine developed antibodies with “no serious adverse events”, according to research published in The Lancet, but experts said the trials were too small to prove safety and effectiveness.

Sept. 2

Elderly scientists who helped develop Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine have not reported adverse effects after being injected, the head of the research institute behind the inoculation told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

— Russia plans to begin the first mass deliveries of its coronavirus vaccine in September, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said .

— Greece and Poland have updated their coronavirus travel restrictions to allow Russian citizens to cross their borders for two-week periods as Russia’s virus caseload topped the one million milestone

Sept. 1

—  Russia surpassed 1 million cases of Covid-19 nationwide, making it the fourth country after the United States, Brazil and India to reach the milestone. 

Aug. 31

The head of a remote Siberian region has contracted the coronavirus a second time in what may be Russia’s first documented case of reinfection. 

Aug. 25

— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has taken the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the Znak.com news website reported , citing an unnamed source close to the mayor. Sobyanin‘s press secretary neither confirmed nor denied the news.

Aug. 21

—  Mexico will receive at least 2,000 doses of Russia’s candidate coronavirus vaccine as part of the injection’s Phase 3 clinical trials, Mexico’s foreign minister said .

Aug. 18

— Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has the coronavirus, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said . He is at least the fifth Russian cabinet member to contract the virus.

Aug. 15

— Russia said that it has produced the first batch of its coronavirus vaccine, after President Vladimir Putin announced it had been first in the world to approve a vaccine.

Aug. 14

—  Vietnam’s health ministry is looking to buy a bulk order of Russia‘s coronavirus vaccine, state media said, despite global skepticism over its effectiveness and safety.

More than half of Russian doctors aren’t ready to get the country’s highly touted coronavirus vaccine, according to an online survey of more than 3,000 healthcare professionals  obtained  by the RBC news website.

Aug. 12

—  The Brazilian state of Parana signed a deal to test and produce Russia‘s new coronavirus vaccine, though officials stressed they would have to be sure of its safety and effectiveness first.

Aug. 11

— Russia has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin announced amid widespread concerns about the rapidly developed vaccine’s safety. 

—  The vaccine’s registration certificate on the Health Ministry website notes that the vaccine, an injection solution called “Sputnik-V,” will enter  civilian circulation  on Jan. 1, 2021. 

Aug. 10

The Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO) industry body that represents organizations conducting multinational clinical trials in Russia  urged  for more tests before registering its coronavirus vaccine. 

Aug. 8

— Russia’s statistics agency Rosstat said 11,917 people with the coronavirus died in June, compared to an official death toll of 4,880 for the same period. Rosstat said Covid-19 was confirmed or believed to be the main cause of death in 7,037 cases, was a contributing factor in 1,399 cases, but had no influence on the patient’s death in another 3,481 cases.

Aug. 7

Russia‘s flagship airline Aeroflot has canceled flights to 87 international destinations for the rest of August due to the coronavirus situation. The list doesn’t include countries where Russia has already resumed or plans to resume flights: Britain, Turkey, Tanzania and Switzerland.

Aug. 5

—  Moscow city government employees and healthcare workers are being offered early access to Russia’s coronavirus vaccine as the country rushes to approve what it says is the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, Bloomberg reported .

—  Moscow‘s theaters and concert halls will refuse entry to anyone with a temperature over 37 degrees Celsius or who shows symptoms of respiratory illness, the city’s culture department said .

Aug. 4

—  The World Health Organization urged Russia to follow the established guidelines for producing safe and effective vaccines after Moscow announced plans to start swiftly producing COVID-19 jabs. 

—  Moscow authorities have issued 5,000-ruble fines ($68) to more than 40,000 people for not wearing a mask in the metro since the requirement was first introduced, a city transport official  said .

— Russia has begun delivering shipments of its coronavirus treatment drug Avifavir to South Africa, Russia‘s sovereign wealth fund said . It will soon begin delivering the drug to seven Latin American countries.

Aug. 3

—  Russia said  it aims to launch mass production of a coronavirus vaccine next month and turn out “several million” doses per month by next year.

Aug. 1

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the Russian capital has reached its “minimum” level of 650-700 new coronavirus cases per day. It won’t be possible for the numbers to go much lower as “millions of people move around the city,” he added.

July 31

—  Authorities in Moscow have issued sweeping fines for violating face mask and glove requirements in recent weeks as the city looks to enforce coronavirus safety rules, the state-run TASS news agency  reported .

July 29

—  The head of Russia‘s sovereign wealth fund which is funding coronavirus vaccine research called Russia‘s race to develop the world’s first coronavirus vaccine “a Sputnik moment,” comparing it to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of the world’s first satellite.

— Russia‘s coronavirus vaccine could be administered to civilians as soon as Aug. 15, Interfax cited a source at the state-run Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology as saying. The source said the Health Ministry will likely register the vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trials, between Aug. 10-12.

July 28

—  Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he was infected with an asymptomatic case of the coronavirus but has since recovered.

The European Union won’t open its borders to Russian citizens until at least mid-August, the state-run TASS news agency reported , citing a source in one of the EU member states’ delegations. The EU is revising its “white list” of permitted travelers every two weeks.

July 27

— Russian schools across the country will re-open for the new school year on Sept. 1, Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. “All [coronavirus safety] requirements will be taken into account in order to protect our children and teachers as much as possible,” he said.

July 24

—  Russia plans to restart international flights to Britain, Turkey and Tanzania on Aug. 1 more than four months after closing its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

July 23

—  Russia plans to administer its experimental coronavirus vaccine on healthcare professionals next month before its clinical trials are completed, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said .

— Russia will waive visa fees for foreigners when the country’s consulates and diplomatic missions reopen abroad, the Foreign Ministry announced.

—  Valentina Matviyenko, the head of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said current progress made it possible for the vaccine to enter mass production by the end of 2020.  The vaccine’s creator Denis Logunov echoed her claim,  telling  Meduza that the Gamaleya institute expects to produce around 1 million shots per year by the end of 2020. 

July 20

— Russia has come through the coronavirus pandemic with far fewer infections and deaths than many other European countries, President Vladimir Putin said while visiting Moscow-annexed Crimea.

— Members of Russia’s ruling elite have been given access to an experimental coronavirus vaccine as early as April, Bloomberg  reported , citing unnamed sources.

July 19

—  The Russian Defense Ministry said that it has completed the first clinical trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine on human volunteers. The trials showed that ” the volunteers had the necessary antibodies to coronavirus and the components of the vaccine are safe and well-tolerated by humans,” a lead military scientist told Interfax.

— British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “absolutely confident” in allegations by the UK and its allies that Russia targeted labs conducting coronavirus research, branding the behavior “outrageous and reprehensible.”

July 17

— It would be impossible for Moscow, a city of more than 12 million, to hide the scale of its coronavirus outbreak because “we have a small town, we all live within a radius of 15 kilometers,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said . “Everyone knows each other; they can call a friend’s doctor, an ambulance station, a clinic; they can ask friends about who’s sick or not sick.”

July 16

— Russia plans to conduct Phase 3 trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in the Middle East as well as at home, the head of Russia’s sovereign fund  told  Reuters.

— The mayor of Russia’s Arctic city of Norilsk has accused regional authorities of dramatically underreporting coronavirus cases and ignoring the scale of its outbreak, the Tayga.info news website  reported .

—  Russia called off its annual “Immortal Regiment” commemoration of the nation’s World War II dead in which thousands carry photographs of relatives through the streets due to the coronavirus pandemic.

July 15

— The Russian Defense Ministry said it has developed a “safe” coronavirus vaccine following clinical trials on a group of volunteers. 

— Starting July 16, Moscow will offer free coronavirus testing for all residents, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said .

Belarus plans to re-open its border and resume transport connections with neighboring Russia within the next few days, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said following talks with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Belarus is one of the only countries which refused to impose a coronavirus lockdown.

July 14

—  Russia and its international partners will produce than 200 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has said .

July 13

— Russia will no longer require foreigners without coronavirus to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival as the country looks to begin reopening to international travelers in the midst of the pandemic, according to a decree published Monday

—  A medical university in Moscow says it has completed clinical trials of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine using human volunteers. Scientists said it could be distributed to patients as soon as next month.

July 10

— Russia will begin negotiations with other countries to  restart international flights from July 15, deputy prime minister Tatiana Golikova said. Flights will be permitted to a specific list of countries where cases of the coronavirus do not exceed 40 per 100,000 people, where the average daily increase in new cases is no higher than 1%, and where both countries agree to resume air connections.

— In May, 12,452 people with Covid-19 died in Russia, Russia’s state statistics agency Rosstat confirmed Friday. The coronavirus was determined to be the main cause of death in 7,444 cases. Russia counts only the latter in its official coronavirus death toll, which stands at 11,017.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced  that wearing masks will no longer be required outdoors from July 13 as the number of new coronavirus cases has dwindled in the Russian capital in recent weeks.

All beaches in Moscow will be closed due to the coronavirus, Russia‘s consumer protection watchdog said . Locals had flocked to beaches along the Moscow River with the arrival of warmer weather.

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg will re-open to visitors on July 15.

July 8

Migrant workers were almost twice as likely as Russians to lose their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, new research has found.

July 7

Around half of Russia’s doctors believe that official statistics undercount the number of coronavirus cases in the country while one in 10 say the numbers are too high, the Vedomosti business newspaper reported.

July 5

— A Moscow election official infected with the coronavirus administered votes during Russia’s weeklong plebiscite on constitutional changes, the Dozhd television channel  reported .

July 2

Former Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev has recovered from the coronavirus two weeks after testing positive, his spokesman  said .

July 1

—  Russia is not among the 15 countries whose citizens can enter the European Union when it re-opens its borders Wednesday due to Russia‘s coronavirus response. Russia could be added later to the EU’s list of “safe countries,” which the bloc will  update every two weeks based on the safety situation in each state.

—  Russia held a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms despite the coronavirus. The amendments, which were overwhelmingly approved, would allow President Vladimir Putin to extend his rule until 2036 by resetting his term limits.

June 30

Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov has recovered from the coronavirus, he wrote on his Instagram. He said he had contracted the virus three months ago while being treated for leukemia in Berlin.

The republic of Chechnya has canceled its two-week quarantine requirement for individuals entering the region, its head Ramzan Kadyrov said at a meeting as quoted by Interfax. People entering the region will still be required to present negative coronavirus test results or to take a test at the border.

June 29

—  Russia‘s coronavirus lockdown measures, combined with residents’ compliance with these restrictions, have helped prevent about 80,000 deaths from the virus, a study by Moscow‘s Higher School of Economics said .

Russia‘s movie theaters will reopen on July 15, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said at a meeting with Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The country’s cinemas had closed in late March due to the coronavirus.

—  A second wave of coronavirus could hit major cities in European Russia as soon as two weeks from now, Mikhail Shchelkanov, who heads the Far Eastern Federal University’s school of biomedicine, told  Ura.ru .  The virus could also hit Russia’s Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok through Chinese citizens returning home from other countries. 

Vladimir Lenin’s tomb on Red Square will reopen to the public on July 1, the Federal Security Service said.

June 28

President Vladimir Putin gets tested for the coronavirus “every three to four days,” he told the state Rossia 1 broadcaster in an interview that aired Sunday. All of the tests have come back negative, he added.

June 26

— About 20% of Moscow residents have coronavirus immunity, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said , citing a new study.

Moscow isn’t ready to fully re-open its tourism sector, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said .

Russia will ease its ban on foreigners imposed due to the coronavirus to allow foreign specialists to enter the country, a government decree says . Specialists who meet the government’s requirements will be allowed a single entry into the country.

June 24

—  Russia’s flagship carrier Aeroflot has been secretly flying passengers abroad for nearly a month despite state-mandated grounded flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vedomosti business daily  reported .

— Russia held its landmark Victory Day parade on Red Square after it was postponed from May 9 due to the coronavirus. Despite the pandemic, thousands of military personnel took part in the parade, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War II.

— Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Zheenbekov  pulled out of attending the Victory Day parade in person after two members of his delegation tested positive for Covid-19 upon arriving in Moscow.

June 23

—  Starting Tuesday, Moscow‘s indoor dining, fitness clubs, swimming pools and public sports and recreation facilities will reopen after being closed for months due to the coronavirus.

— Russia’s state statistics agency published higher coronavirus death figures for April than previously reported because it receives more complete data than the national coronavirus crisis center, its chief has said .

—  More than one-quarter of Russians know at least one person among their friends, family or aquaintances who has contracted the coronavirus, the RBC news website reported , citing research from Moscow‘s Higher School of Economics.

The Buddhist leader, or Supreme Lama, of the republic of Tyva, a remote region of Russia in southern Siberia, has died of coronavirus, the head of the region said .

June 22

— Most Russian regions will be able to start accepting tourists from other parts of the country starting July 1, Rostourism spokesperson Zarina Doguzova said .

—  St. Petersburg has surpassed Moscow as having the country’s highest coronavirus mortality for the first time since the pandemic began. Twenty-nine people have died from coronavirus in St. Petersburg over the past 24 hours compared to 20 people in Moscow.

June 19

—  Russia has canceled its high-profile Asia-focused economic forum in the Far East, organizers said. 

Wedding registrations and ceremonies will resume in Moscow starting June 23, Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said , with sanitary and social distancing requirements still in place.

June 18

Four hundred and eighty-nine doctors in Russia have died from the coronavirus, the head of Russia‘s health watchdog said , or 6% of the country’s official death toll. The agency later backtracked, with its press service saying that the figure was “not official” and was based on “data circulating on the internet.”

— Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former president of close Russian ally and former Soviet republic Kazakhstan, has been diagnosed with coronavirus, his spokesperson  said .

Mikhail Ignatyev, the ousted head of the republic of Chuvashia who sued President Vladimir Putin last month over what he said was wrongful dismissal, has died from the coronavirus, Interfax reported , citing a source in the region’s administration. He had reportedly been hospitalized in St. Petersburg with pneumonia in both lungs in critical condition.

The Russian military has started testing a coronavirus vaccine on 18 volunteers, the Defense Ministry said . On Wednesday, the Health Ministry said its coronavirus vaccine trials had begun with two groups of 38 volunteers.

June 17

—  A special disinfection tunnel has been installed at President Vladimir Putin’s residence outside Moscow to protect him from the coronavirus, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency  reported .

Russian World War II veterans who attend next Wednesday‘s Victory Day parade on Red Square won’t be required to wear masks, the head of Russia‘s consumer protection watchdog said . Attendees will be spaced apart and all surfaces will be disinfected, Anna Popova said.

—  The veterans are self-isolating outside Moscow in order to protect President Vladimir Putin from the coronavirus. 

— As of Wednesday, 20 cities had  canceled or delayed  their Victory Day parades due to the coronavirus.

The Krasnodar region in southern Russia will begin easing restrictions on tourists starting June 21, including canceling a required two-week quarantine period for arriving tourists. 

June 16

— A 103-year-old coronavirus patient in St. Petersburg has recovered from the illness, the hospital where she was treated said . Valentina Martynovna is now at home with family and “feeling well,” the hospital said.

June 15

—  Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg had the highest coronavirus mortality rate among all Russian cities in the month of April, according to a new analysis of official data.

— Russian officials have urged hotels to ban unmarried couples from checking in as a way to preventing the spread of coronavirus.

President Vladimir Putin has extended the period in which foreign nationals whose Russian visas expired after March 15 can stay in the country. Foreigners already in Russia will now have their visas automatically extended through Sept. 15.

—  Three more Russian cities, Penza, Chelyabinsk and Yakutsk, have canceled plans to hold Victory Day parades on June 24 due to the coronavirus, the Kommersant business daily  reported . At least 10 other cities had  canceled  or postponed the parade last week.

— French President Emmanuel Macron didn’t receive an invitation to Russia‘s rescheduled Victory Day parade on June 24 and will not attend as a result, a representative of the Elysee Palace told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. He was one of the world leaders expected to attend the landmark May 9 military parade on Red Square before it was postponed due to the coronavirus.

June 13

— Russia more than doubled its official coronavirus death toll for April to 2,712 after changing how it classifies fatalities.

June 12

—  President Vladimir Putin made his first public appearance  after weeks of coronavirus lockdown, saying at a ceremony to mark the Russia Day public holiday that  an “absolute majority” of Russians back his controversial plan to change the Constitution.

June 11

The first batch of Avifavir, the drug Russia  approved to treat coronavirus patients, has been delivered to some Russian hospitals.

—  At least 10 Russian cities have further postponed a landmark military parade meant to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II because of coronavirus fears, the Znak.com news website  reported .

The head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program has questioned Russia‘s low coronavirus death rate, saying it is “unusual that the number of deaths relative to the number of confirmed cases is very low.”

The Kremlin doesn’t view Russia‘s coronavirus mortality data as unusual and Rospotrebnadzor is ready to explain its numbers to the WHO, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said .

— Discrepancies in Russia‘s coronavirus mortality data are caused by the fact that Moscow authorities haven’t sent the city’s final numbers to the federal headquarters, the RBC news website reported .

Russian Railways will resume regular service of its Sapsan high-speed trains between Moscow and St. Petersburg starting June 24.

More than 17% of Moscow residents have coronavirus antibodies, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova said .

—  Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg has a shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients, the Fontanka news website  reported  as patients decried poor conditions at a hastily built temporary hospital.

June 10

Almost 60% more people in Moscow have died in May than the city’s average toll for the past three years, the city health department said  as questions continue to swirl around Russia’s low coronavirus death figures. 

Russia‘s low coronavirus death toll is the result of the country’s “effective” healthcare system, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN. “Have you ever thought about the possibility of Russia‘s health care system being more effective?” he said.

June 9

Moscow ended its self-isolation orders — including its digital pass system and schedule system for taking walks outside — Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said . The city has also released a schedule  of which restrictions will be lifted over the next few weeks. 

— Russia  confirmed  8,595 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 485,253.

—  The city of Murmansk in Russia’s Arctic has opened a new coronavirus field hospital two weeks after breaking ground on construction.

June 8

— Russia will begin re-opening its borders to foreign nationals, starting with foreigners who need to come to Russia for medical treatment or to take care of their relatives, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said .

Russia‘s tourism sector is ready to begin gradually re-opening, Mishustin said at a video meeting with his deputies.

— Russia plans to resume international air travel on July 15 as it eyes a gradual return to normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic, the RBC news website and state-run TASS news agency reported.

Russian carrier S7 Airlines plans to resume all domestic flights in June, the company said in a statement Monday.

June 4

— Russia plans to start clinical testing of a coronavirus vaccine on paid volunteers from the general public from next week, the director of the institute in charge of the study told The Moscow Times.

— A U.S. military plane carrying 150 donated ventilators to help coronavirus patients landed in Moscow in the second such delivery to Russia, the U.S. embassy said.

—  President Vladimir Putin has ordered the military to set up a field hospital in the Zabaikalsky region he described as the latest coronavirus hotspot.

—  Russia’s second-largest city St. Petersburg recorded almost 30% more deaths in May 2020 compared to its average May total over the past decade, official data  said .

June 3

One patient has died following a fire at St. Petersburg’s Botkin infectious diseases hospital, which is being used to treat coronavirus patients, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported .

Russian hospitals will be able to resume planned medical procedures, according to a decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Hospitals which were converted to treat coronavirus patients may also return to their normal work depending on the coronavirus situation in their region.

June 2

The Russian military will march asymptomatic troops and those who have developed immunity to coronavirus at its landmark parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II later this month, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said .

Russia‘s movie theaters could re-open as early as mid-July, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said  during a government meeting, pointing to the stabilizing coronavirus situation. Theaters and concert halls will start re-opening in the fall, he added.

—  Russia’s military  said  it has recruited dozens of volunteers among its ranks for two-month clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine set to begin Wednesday.

— Russian scientists are developing a coronavirus treatment involving ultraviolet light brought inside the body, a potentially dangerous method that has been promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Temporary hospitals erected in Moscow to treat coronavirus patients will remain in operation for at least a year, deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova told state-run television. Five temporary hospitals have been constructed across the city with a total of 10,000 beds, she said.

June 1

—  Russia will begin rolling out its first approved drug in the fight against coronavirus which it describes as “a game changer” starting next week,  Reuters  reported , citing the country’s sovereign wealth fund. 

—  Russia‘s public vote on a set of constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in power through 2036 will take place on July 1, Putin said at a meeting with officials.

— A coronavirus patient who fell from a fifth-floor window at a Moscow hospital on Saturday was a police lieutenant colonel and a senior forensics expert in the Interior Ministry, the RBC news website reported, citing an unnamed Interior Ministry source. The woman survived the fall and is now in intensive care, RBC reported.

Nikol Pashinyan, the prime minister of Armenia, has contracted the coronavirus, he announced .

May 29

Russia  confirmed  8,572 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 387,623.

—  Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has ordered to lift some of Moscow‘s coronavirus restrictions starting June 1. All non-food shops and some service sector businesses will be able to re-open, he said. The city will also  test lifting restrictions on walks outside using a schedule system for apartment buildings and all parks except for Zaryadye Park will re-open.

— Moscow health authorities have more than doubled the city’s April death count from coronavirus or related cases as questions continue to surround Russia’s comparatively low mortality rate.

—  Russian authorities said that a small number of spectators would be allowed at stadiums when the country’s Premier League restarts its suspended season next month.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin added the media sector to the list of industries that qualify for government support during the coronavirus pandemic, entitling publishers and news outlets to tax payment deferrals, interest-free loans for paying employee salaries and more.

May 28

—  Russia confirmed  8,371 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 379,051.

— Russia is reissuing invitations to international leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron to attend a massive military parade in Moscow on June 24, a Foreign Ministry official said.

Moscow‘s coronavirus restrictions will be in place until a vaccine is developed, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said .

—  One in four Russians believe that the global coronavirus pandemic is made-up, according to a survey by Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE)  cited  by the RBC news website.

May 27

—  Russia  confirmed  8,338 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 370,680.

—  Russia will no longer include asymptomatic coronavirus patients in its daily count of new infections and deaths, the Health Ministry said .  

—  Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said he is “healthy,” even demonstrating that his arms don’t have IV marks, after rumors that he was hospitalized with possible coronavirus.

— Russia announced that the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to postpone two international summits, the BRICS and SCO summits, which were set for St. Petersburg in July.

Russia‘s consumer protection watchdog said the capital is ready to enter the first phases of lifting its coronavirus restrictions.

— The Russian military announced it had opened a field hospital in the North Caucasus region of Dagestan where authorities are struggling to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

May 26

— Russia  confirmed  8,915 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 362,342.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian military to hold its landmark parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War II, which was originally scheduled for May 9, on June 24, pointing to what he said was a stabilization of the coronavirus in Russia.

—  About 50% of Russians have abandoned their vacation plans due to the coronavirus, the ROMIR research agency said . The previous day, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that Russians should avoid traveling abroad this summer.

Russia‘s Health Ministry said that 101 Russian medics have died from the coronavirus. According to an unofficial tally kept by Russian and Belarussian doctors, 305 medics have died from the virus.

May 25

— Russia  confirmed  8,946 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 353,427.

—  President Vladimir Putin has  signed a law  allowing Russians to vote by mail or online in a move supporters say will prevent the spread of the coronavirus and opponents claim will open the door to manipulation.

Putin congratulated Muslims across Russia on the Eid al-Fitr holiday, a feast marking the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.  Authorities in Moscow and Russia’s Muslim-majority regions have canceled prayer gatherings and ordered mosques to remain closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

— A provincial leader outside Moscow was heard telling his subordinates to alter his region’s coronavirus data in an audio recording leaked Monday that he later confirmed to be authentic.

May 24

President Vladimir Putin warned that a second wave of the coronavirus epidemic could hit Russia this fall as he noted that the country’s current outbreak is stabilizing.

Russia confirmed  8,599 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 344,481. Russia has the third-highest number of infections behind the United States and Brazil, but the number of new cases has fallen below 10,000 for nine days in a row.

—  Russia is expected this month to register a spike in mortality rates amid the coronavirus epidemic, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said.

Russia has carried out its first test of a coronavirus vaccine on humans, the head of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology said . The vaccine was tested on the center’s own employees and no side effects were reportedly found.

May 22

—  One in three Russian doctors who treat coronavirus patients have been told to change how they report cases, according to a survey  cited  by the Meduza news website amid questions over Russia’s low Covid-19 death toll.

—  One out of seven healthy Russians may have been infected with the coronavirus, according to a Moscow-based private lab analysis of voluntary testing  published  Friday.

Starting May 25, Moscow‘s public registry services will re-open and car-sharing will resume, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said . All other lockdown restrictions remain in place.

Moscow has managed to avoid the “worst-case scenario” with the coronavirus, Sobyanin said , but stressed that it’s necessary to maintain current lockdown measures.

People who violate lockdown orders in the Moscow region surrounding the capital will be punished with up to 100 hours of community service in hospitals, the region’s security services said .

May 21

—  Russia  confirmed  8,849 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 317,554.

—  Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has been hospitalized in Moscow with a suspected coronavirus infection, Interfax  reported , citing an unnamed source in Moscow‘s medical services.

— A U.S. military plane carrying dozens of donated American ventilators touched down in Moscow, with the precious cargo ready to be sent to a hospital treating coronavirus patients.

— At least 9,479 Russian medical workers have been infected with the coronavirus in the past month and more than 70 have died, the Associated Press  reported , citing official statements and news reports in more than 70 Russian regions. Healthcare workers say the death toll is much higher.

May 20

—  Russia  confirmed  8,764 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 308,705 and marking the lowest daily increase since May 1.

— Moscow‘s coronavirus death rate will be “significantly” higher in May than it was in April, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin warned .

May 19

—  Russia  confirmed  9,263 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 299,941.  

— Russian medics are 16 times more likely to die from the coronavirus than healthcare professionals in countries with similarly high Covid-19 numbers, the Mediazona news website  reported .

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has resumed his official duties nearly three weeks after first announcing that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus and naming an acting prime minister.

— The Saratov region has reinstated its ban on walks and outdoor activities a week after easing the restriction due to the region’s high growth rate in new coronavirus cases, its vice governor said. 

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the situation with the coronavirus in Moscow is “still far from ideal.” 

Government offices in Moscow will reopen next week, and some clinics will be allowed to provide planned medical treatments.  Sobyanin said that it was still too soon to think about reopening other parts of the capital such as shopping centers or hairdressers.

Moscow authorities announced plans to double testing capacity to 200,000 a day by the end of May.

Moscow residents will be allowed to go outside to walk or exercise only when the number of new daily infections reaches the “tens or hundreds, not thousands,” Sobyanin added. Moscow reported 3,545 new cases.

Russia‘s second-largest city St. Petersburg has banned residents from attending funeral services regardless of the cause of death of the deceased, the Fontanka.ru news website reported .

May 18

— Russia  confirmed  8,926 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 290,678 and signaling a potential slowdown in new cases.

— Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the growth in new coronavirus cases has been stopped in Russia.

—  Russia’s national coronavirus crisis center has stopped updating the latest Covid-19 death counts in at least two Siberian regions while the regions have published new numbers, the Tayga.info news website  reported .

Twenty-seven of Russia‘s 85 regions are ready to start gradually easing coronavirus restrictions, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said .

—  President Vladimir Putin said the coronavirus situation in Dagestan required urgent attention after a top official said hundreds of people in the region might have died from the virus.

Russia‘s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has recommended that Russian airlines fill their flights by no more than 50% in order to adequately space passengers apart from each other.

Russia‘s low coronavirus death toll compared to other countries is a result of the population’s herd immunity, the head of Russia‘s Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Alexander Gintsburg  said .

May 17

— Russia  confirmed  9,709 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 281,752. 

—  A baby was born with the coronavirus in Russia‘s Caucasus region of North Ossetia, health officials were quoted by the state-run TASS news agency as saying, to a mother who is also infected. The birth in the city of Beslan follows one in mid-April in Peru, which health officials there said was the second known case of a Covid-19 positive newborn worldwide.

The growth of new cases in Russia is stabilizing, Anna Popova, the head of public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said, as the daily tally fell under 10,000 for the third day this week. “We’ve moved towards the level of stability that we’ve all been waiting for .. I would say that as of today, we have halted the growth,” she told the state television channel Rossiya 1.

—  More than 13,000 people in Dagestan have contracted  the coronavirus or community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), the region’s health minister said. A total of 657 people have died from Covid-19 or CAP, including 40 doctors, he added. According to official statistics, there have been 3,371 coronavirus infections and just 29 deaths from Covid-19 in the region.

—  Russia confirmed 9,709 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 281,752.

May 16

Russia  confirmed  9,200 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 272,043 and signaling a potential slowing of new cases.

May 15

— Russia  confirmed  10,598 new coronavirus infections Friday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 262,843.

The RussiaPremier League‘s season will resume June 21, the Russian Football Union (RFU) said  Friday. The matches, which have been suspended since March 17, will be held without spectators.

Yandex will end its free coronavirus testing program, the tech giant said, adding that it has carried out 20,000 of the free tests since the program began on April 20.

May 14

Russia  confirmed  9,974 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 252,245.

Clinics in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia‘s coronavirus epidemic, will begin mass random testing of residents for coronavirus antibodies on Friday, the mayor said.

President Vladimir Putin said the coronavirus outbreak was easing in Russia, after daily confirmed cases dropped back below 10,000. 

“Over the past weeks, all our efforts have been aimed first and foremost at pushing back against the coronavirus epidemic,” Putin said in a televised videoconference with scientists and officials. “The situation is changing now, and this gives us an opportunity to once again focus on our current and long-term agenda.”

Education and Science Minister Valery Falkov was diagnosed with coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting, making him the fourth minister to catch the virus. During the meeting, Falkov said he has already recovered and returned to work.

—  Clinics in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia‘s coronavirus epidemic, will begin mass random testing of residents for coronavirus antibodies on Friday, the mayor said. The free and voluntary testing will “show the real picture” of the epidemic’s stage, since many people may have had the virus without knowing it, Sergei Sobyanin told state television.

“Every three days we will send out 70,000 invitations to Moscow residents” to have their blood drawn at clinics, he said.

May 13

— Russia  confirmed  10,028 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 242,271.

—  More than 60% of deaths among Moscow’s coronavirus patients are not being counted toward the city’s official virus death toll, city health officials  said .

Russian low-cost airline Pobeda will resume its domestic flights on June 1 after suspending all its flights in late March, the RBC news website reported .

—  Russia’s oldest coronavirus patient, 100-year-old Pelageya Poyarkova, has fully recovered from the illness, the Federal Biomedical Agency (FMBA)  said  Wednesday.

—  Russia might not see its pre-coronavirus levels of tourism return until January 2021, officials  said  Tuesday.

State Duma deputy Oksana Pushkina has tested positive for the coronavirus, she said .

Nearly 1,500 doctors and healthcare workers in St. Petersburg have been infected with coronavirus since the epidemic began, Governor Alexander Beglov said .

May 12

— Russia  confirmed  10,899 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 232,243.

President Vladimir Putin has eased Russia’s “non-working” period imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus even as Russia emerges as Europe’s new coronavirus hotspot. 

— Five people died in a fire in a hospital for coronavirus patients in Russia‘s second-largest city of St. Petersburg, with some victims attached to ventilators, officials said.

—  President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has been hospitalized with coronavirus, he told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday.

Starting today, Moscow residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves in all public places.

Russian pharmacy chains are reporting shortages in thermometers, according to the Kommersant business daily.

May 11

— Russia  confirmed  11,656 new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 221,344 and marking a new one-day record increase.

Russia‘s second-largest city, St. Petersburg, has extended its coronvirus lockdown until May 31 and will require its residents to wear face masks and gloves in public starting May 12.

—  Russia has conducted more than 5.6 million coronavirus tests, its state consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said , or about 188,000 tests per day.

May 10

—  Russia  confirmed  11,012 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 209,688.

May 9

Russia  confirmed 10,817 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 198,676.

—  President Vladimir Putin called for Russians to stand together on Saturday as the country marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on lockdown over the virus. “We know and firmly believe that we are invincible when we stand together,” Putin said in a televised speech after plans for a grand Victory Day military parade in Red Square had to be postponed because of the pandemic.

—  Moscow‘s coronavirus lockdown has been extended until May 31, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Starting May 12, Moscow residents will be required to wear face masks and gloves in all public places and transport, Sobyanin said.

—  One person died after a fire broke out in a hospital treating coronavirus patients in northern Moscow, forcing an evacuation, emergencies officials said.

May 8

Russia  confirmed  10,699 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 187,859.   Russia is now the fifth most-affected country in terms of infections, surpassing Germany and France on Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands of Moscow’s rapid antibody tests labeled as Dutch-made are unreliable at detecting the coronavirus in its early stages, meaning patients who receive false negatives could potentially infect others, a new investigation has said.

May 7

—  Russia  confirmed  11,231 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 177,160 and marking a new one-day record rise in infections.

The real number of coronavirus infections in Moscow is likely around 300,000, Sobyanin said . Officially, the city has 92,676 cases.

Leonid Fedun, the billionaire energy tycoon who co-founded Lukoil and owns FC Spartak Moscow, has been hospitalized with coronavirus.

May 6

—  Russia  confirmed  10,559 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 165,929. 

—  Russian Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the third Russian cabinet official to become infected with the virus after construction minister Vladimir Yakushev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin

—  Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said stay-at-home restrictions would remain in place beyond May 12, but companies involved in industry and construction would be allowed to return to work that day.

Moscow residents could be required to wear face masks in all public spaces as early as next week, the Kommersant business daily reported . 

—  Russian prosecutors have shot down online conspiracy theories about the coronavirus’ manmade origins as fake, the  Prosecutor General’s Office   said  in a statement Wednesday

Moscow has conducted 1 million coronavirus tests since the start of its outbreak, the city’s coronavirus task force said , citing deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova. More than 40,000 tests are carried out daily. Nationwide, 4.4 million tests have been carried out.

May 5

—  Russia  confirmed  10,102 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 155,370. 

Three Russian journalists have died from the coronavirus, the head of Russia‘s Journalists Union told Interfax. More than 100 have been hospitalized with the virus and more than 500 are self-isolating at home under the supervision of health services.

Russia has sent medical research supplies and two mobile laboratories to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help the African country fight the coronavirus, Interfax reported .

May 4

—  Russia  confirmed  10,581 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 145,268. 

—  Authorities in St. Petersburg have pledged to pay compensation to doctors who become infected with the coronavirus — but only after an investigation establishes their level of responsibility for getting it, according to newly adopted rules .

Bosnia denied entry to a team of 24 Russian military medical experts who had come to the Balkan country to carry out decontamination work. 

Starting May 8, all individuals flying from Moscow to Beijing will be required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test received 120 hours or less before departure.

Russia has removed its ban on the export of medical masks and respirators, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told the state-run Rossia 1 news channel. He said there is no shortage of masks or other sanitary products in Russian pharmacies.

The Russian National Guard said it is using drones and a helicopter to enforce self-isolation rules in Moscow and the Moscow region over the May holidays. The drones and helicopter will send information about violations to officers on the ground, who will then issue fines to violators.

May 3

— Russia  confirmed  10,633 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 134,687 and marking a new one-day record increase.

May 2

— Russia confirmed 9,623 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 124,054 and marking a new one-day record increase. 

— About 2% of Moscow residents   —   or more than 250,000 people   —   have the coronavirus, the mayor of the Russian capital said on Saturday, citing test results.  Around 2,000 Moscow doctors have either recovered from or are currently ill with Covid-19, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin  said .

May 1

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