Moscow mayor tells el­derly to stay home

Bangkok Post - - WORLD -

MOSCOW: Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin yes­ter­day or­dered the el­derly to stay at home and rec­om­mended em­ploy­ers al­low home work­ing af­ter the Rus­sian cap­i­tal saw a sharp rise in virus cases.

Mr Sobyanin’s mes­sage came af­ter virus fig­ures that had re­mained steady for sev­eral months climbed steeply in re­cent days in Rus­sia, the world’s fourth most af­fected coun­try, and par­tic­u­larly in Moscow, where cur­rent case num­bers are the high­est since late June.

Mr Sobyanin said Mus­covites over 65 years old should stay at home from Mon­day and shop rarely, while walks out­side re­main un­re­stricted.

At the be­gin­ning of the virus lock­down, Mr Sobyanin brought in harsh mea­sures in­clud­ing can­celling se­niors’ free travel passes.

“Un­for­tu­nately we see a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the num­ber of con­firmed cases in Moscow in re­cent days,” Mr Sobyanin said in his of­fi­cial blog.

New coronaviru­s cases in Moscow on Thurs­day reached their high­est level since June 23, at 1,050, and Mr Sobyanin said there had a been a “se­ri­ous” in­crease in hospi­tal ad­mis­sions.

Yes­ter­day, he warned that si­mul­ta­ne­ously catch­ing the com­mon cold and the virus as win­ter ap­proaches was par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous for el­derly peo­ple and those with chronic ill­nesses.

“So from Septem­ber 28, we are ask­ing you to stay at home,” he said.

The mayor’s de­cree presents this as a com­pul­sory rule, with ex­cep­tions for med­i­cal care, shop­ping, walk­ing dogs and com­mut­ing to work.

Mr Sobyanin said those in the risk groups should work from home or take a va­ca­tion if pos­si­ble.

He also told com­pany heads: “I firmly ask and rec­om­mend you to move as many of your staff as pos­si­ble to home-work­ing.”

Em­ploy­ers should of­fer virus test­ing and tem­per­a­ture checks, he said.

Warn­ing the virus is “not con­quered yet”, he called for Moscow res­i­dents to wear face masks and gloves on public trans­port and in shops, a rule al­ready in place but widely flouted.

At the peak of the lock­down Mr Sobyanin only al­lowed peo­ple to go to their near­est shop or walk a dog, while those us­ing public trans­port or cars needed elec­tronic passes.

“We all re­ally don’t want to go back to the harsh re­stric­tions of spring,” Mr Sobyanin said. “I hope we can avoid this.”

Rus­sia has con­firmed 1,128,836 coronaviru­s cases and al­most 20,000 deaths.

It has boasted of cre­at­ing the world’s first ap­proved coronaviru­s vac­cine, Sput­nik V, al­though it is still un­der­go­ing clin­i­cal tri­als.

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