22 May 2020
Coronavirus in Russia: May 22

Coronavirus in Russia: May 22

Mikhail Dzhaparidze / TASS

As of today there are over 326,400 cases of COVID-19 in Russia – it is the world's 2nd most-affected country in terms of total confirmed coronavirus infections. Russia's six-week 'paid non-working period' ended on May 12, following an announcement from Vladimir Putin. The extension and easing of quarantine measures are now in the hands of Russia's regional governors. Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus in Russia on May 22.

– Digital travel permits will be abolished in the Moscow region from May 23, according to Governor Andrey Vorobyev.

– Authorities in St. Petersburg have adjusted a recently announced blanket ban on farewell ceremonies for the deceased – the ban will only apply to ceremonies for people that have died from COVID-19. New guidelines indicate that a ceremony may last no longer than 10 minutes, while all those present must adhere to social distancing rules, wear masks and gloves and refrain from touching the body of the deceased.

– Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced on Friday that the city's coronavirus restrictions – mandatory self-isolation, the wearing of masks and gloves in public venues, and travel permits – will remain in place for the time being. Car sharing services and state services centers will restart work on May 25.

– COVID-19 infections in Russia have plateaued, according to top health official Anna Popova.

– Russia's coronavirus statistics only include patients with laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the national Health Ministry. Patients who have been diagnosed with pneumonia following a CT scan are only included in the count following a repeat examination, while patients diagnosed with SARS are not included in official statistics at all.

– Taxi services in Moscow will receive close to 283 million roubles ($3.93 million) in state subsidies to repay outstanding loans and lease fees. Eligibility will be limited to companies with no debts as of March 5.

– Pavel Pogrebnyak, a Russian soccer player from Yekaterinburg's Ural FC, recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Team representatives commented that Pogrebnyak was under medical supervision after having come down with a mild case of the disease.

– Russian private lab Invitro announced that it had conducted over 40,000 voluntary coronavirus antibody tests over the past four days. 14% of all people tested had developed antibodies to the disease.

– 68 coronavirus-positive patients died in Moscow over the past 24 hours. The coronavirus has claimed the lives of 1,794 people in Moscow since the start of the pandemic.

Russia's six-week 'non-working period' ended on May 12, following an announcement by President Vladimir Putin. It is now up to Russia's regional governors to extend or relax quarantine measures across the country.

A number of areas began easing restrictions on the day of Putin's announcement. Self-isolation is no longer mandatory in the Murmansk region – it will only apply to elderly residents aged 65 and over going forward. A ban on visiting parks and playgrounds was lifted in the Orel region, while authorities in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan have abolished travel permits. The Saratov region, however, has rolled back a previously announced relaxation of its quarantine and reinstated a lockdown following an increase in COVID-19 cases.

Moscow and the Moscow region are Russia's most-affected areas, accounting for more than half of total confirmed COVID-19 cases. Both regions extended their lockdowns until May 31, and legislated the mandatory wearing of masks and protective gloves in public places from May 12. Public services centers and car sharing services will restart work in Moscow on May 25 as the Russian capital begins to ease its quarantine measures.

Updates for May 21 are available here.