0851 GMT October 22, 2020
Anna Popova, the head of the consumer safety watchdog, said on Tuesday Russia saw no need to impose restrictions on economic activity in response to the spike in cases, Reuters reported.
“Despite a growing number of cases, today in Russia we are not talking about blocking the economy, suspending some business activities, some sectors of the economy, because we see no reason to do this,” Popova said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.
Her comments come a day after the Kremlin said Russia could afford to be more flexible in its response to COVID-19 than earlier this year when it imposed a lockdown.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had more room for maneuver than earlier in the pandemic because of better treatment, more hospital beds, and a tried and tested system to tackle the virus.
Moscow, the capital, has been the hardest hit by COVID-19. The city of nearly 13 million, which recorded 4,618 new cases on Tuesday, has opened two temporary hospitals and ordered businesses to have at least 30 percent of staff working remotely.
The official coronavirus taskforce said on Tuesday the country had recorded record-high increases of 13,868 cases and 244 deaths in the last 24 hours. Russia has recorded 22,966 fatalities since the start of the pandemic.
With a population of about 145 million, Russia has the fourth highest number of infections in the world, behind the US, India and Brazil.