Russian Federation sees record COVID-19 cases for 4th day in a row

A member of the medical staff at Gemotest, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) works with a saliva sample at the COVID-19 testing facility in Moscow.

Fifty-eight people died over the past 24 hours, bringing the total toll to 1,280.

Residents of the Russian capital are only allowed to leave their homes to walk their dogs, take out trash and visit their nearest shop although private vehicle journeys have not been restricted up to now.

The 9,623 fresh virus victims logged Saturday bring the country's total number of cases to more than 124,000, most of which are in Moscow, where the mayor is threatening to reduce travel permits.

On Saturday, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin cited studies that said around two percent of the city's population has been infected.

According to official statistics, Moscow has a population of 12.7 million people but the real figure is believed to be higher.

Russian Federation had a relatively low number of Covid-19 cases during the early days of the pandemic, but the infection has spiked in recent weeks.

"The threat is apparently on the rise", Sobyanin said on his blog.

President Vladimir Putin has said the situation remains "very hard".

Sobyanin said Moscow has significantly ramped up testing capacity over the past few weeks, adding the city has managed to "contain the spread of the infection" due to the enforcement of stay-at-home rules and other measures.

On Friday, Russia's housing minister, Vladimir Yakushev, became the second senior minister to be confirmed to have Covid-19.

On Thursday, as the number of cases passed 100,000, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin appeared on state television informing President Vladimir Putin by video conference that he'd tested positive for the virus.

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