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Moscow ‘Nowhere Near’ Its Coronavirus Peak, Mayor Warns

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin also leads Russia's nationwide anti-coronavirus task force. Vladimir Gerdo / TASS

Moscow has not yet reached the peak of its coronavirus epidemic, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Friday as the Russian capital saw yet another record surge in infections over the past 24 hours.

Russia is currently the world’s 17th-most affected country with 11,917 officially reported coronavirus cases as of Friday. Moscow accounts for two-thirds of all nationwide cases with 7,822 infections and 50 of the country’s 94 deaths.

“We’re not at the peak yet, but somewhere at the base of the peak and not the middle,” Sobyanin warned in an interview with the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

“As for forecasts, the only thing I’ll say is that we have a serious test ahead of us and we need to prepare for it,” Sobyanin said.

The Russian capital of more than 12.5 million has imposed strict quarantine rules for the rest of April to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Residents face fines for going outside for non-essential reasons.

Sobyanin, who also leads Russia's nationwide anti-coronavirus task force, noted that he coordinates all his actions on responding to the coronavirus crisis with President Vladimir Putin. 

Putin urged Russians to self-isolate during the pandemic, declaring April a paid “non-working” month. His recently signed law imposes steep fines and prison terms of up to seven years for violating quarantine rules.

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