The coronavirus situation in Russia is still tense although it has stabilized in some regions, including the capital Moscow, a senior official said on Friday.

“The epidemiological situation remains quite tense. However, there are regions where the situation has stabilized,” the country’s chief sanitary officer, Anna Popova, told reporters in Moscow.

“The Moscow region coped with this rise in four weeks,” she said, citing the capital’s efforts to manage the coronavirus case surge. “This is the best result for the entire period of the pandemic, when such large regions, a huge agglomeration, successfully coped with the rise, and today we are seeing stabilization and decline.”

Popova urged that the vaccination campaign be pushed forward to avoid “an explosive growth” in autumn when people catch colds and viruses more often because of the cold weather.

In a separate statement, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin confirmed that the number of newly detected cases decreased by 2.2 times, and the number of hospitalizations decreased by 1.6 times, compared to the second half of June.

Due to the improvement in the COVID-19 situation, the mayor canceled the requirement to wear gloves, leaving only masks as mandatory.

He also urged people not to delay getting vaccinated as it “will save health and will help bring the end of the pandemic closer.”

Russia’s coronavirus emergency task force reported on Friday 23,564 new daily infections, taking the tally to 6.24 million and active cases to 495,447.

With 20,485 recoveries in the last 24 hours, the total number of people recovered from COVID-19 now stands at 5.58 million, with 794 new fatalities bringing the total to 157,771.

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.2 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 196 million cases reported, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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