New Russia virus cases top 10,000 for sixth day
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Russia on Friday registered more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row, after emerging as a new hotspot of the pandemic.
A government tally showed 10,669 new cases over the last 24 hours, fewer than Thursday's record of 11,231 and bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 187,859. The country also recorded 98 new deaths from the virus, for a total of 1,723.
Russia now ranks fourth in Europe in terms of the total number of cases, according to an AFP tally, behind countries where the epidemic hit considerably earlier: Britain, Italy and Spain. On Thursday Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced an extension of a lockdown in the capital, where most cases are concentrated, to May 31.
He also brought in a rule that people will have to wear masks and gloves in public transport and shops or face fines from Tuesday. Residents of the capital are only allowed to leave their homes for brief trips to a shop, to walk dogs or to travel to essential jobs with a permit.
Russia has a national non-working period until May 11 that so far has not been extended. On Saturday, when the country usually marks Soviet victory in World War II with large-scale military parades, there will only be fly-pasts and fireworks. For the first time, President Vladimir Putin will give a speech by the Eternal Flame memorial beside the Kremlin walls instead of during a parade on Red Square.