MOSCOW: Russian authorities on Tuesday have issued a nationwide mask requirement amid a rapid resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak.
Health authorities registered 16,550 new cases and 320 new deaths on Tuesday, the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.
Russia’s public health agency, Rospotrebnadzor, ordered all Russians to wear masks in crowded public spaces, on public transport, in taxis, at parking lots and in elevators starting on Wednesday. The agency also recommended regional authorities put a curfew on entertainment events, cafes, restaurants and bars from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Russia has the world’s fourth largest tally of over 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The government’s coronavirus task force has been reporting over over 15,000 new infections every day since last Sunday, which is much higher than in the spring.
Russia has reported more than 26,000 virus-related deaths.
Despite the sharp spike in daily new infections, Russian authorities have repeatedly dismissed the idea of imposing a second national lockdown or shutting down businesses. Most virus-related restrictions were lifted during the summer.