With over 6,361 new coronavirus infections confirmed on April 26, the COVID-19 toll in Russia reached to 80,949 as a new record number of people tested positive over the last 24 hours, the country's emergency team said in a statement. At least 66 lives were claimed by the disease the previous day as the fatalities showed a new high, surging the tally to 747. Only 6,767 patients out of the total have recovered so far, and at least 517 people were discharged from the hospitals yesterday.
According to reports, the majority of Russia's cases were clustered in the capital Moscow. Although, patients tested positive in at least 85 regions since the outbreak as of March 30 that prompted the authorities to issue stay-at-home orders. Moscow's 12 million residents since then have remained under quarantine with exemption to essential movement to the pharmacies and the grocery stores.
In a clip released online, Moscow Deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova warned the citizens of the “extremely difficult weeks ahead”. "The peak in morbidity should arrive in the next two to three weeks," she said. Therefore, the past week, authorities toughened the measures and introduced the digital permit system that allowed all public transport and cars used for essential movement to show a pass for commute approval. Over 2.8 million tests have been conducted in Russia thus far, as claimed by the health authorities, however, their reliability was raised questions and concerns, a local Russian daily reported.
Earlier last week, President Vladimir Putin reportedly postponed Victory Day celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, due to be held in May. Citing the pandemic, he said in a televised address, “The risks linked to the epidemic that hasn’t yet reached its peak are extremely high, and that doesn’t give me the right to start preparations for the parade and other festivities.” “The May 9 date is sacred for us, but every life is priceless too,” he added.
His decision followed the postponement of the electoral votes scheduled for April 22 that would make constitutional amendments that would allow him to stay in office until 2036, according to media reports.