Moscow eases coronavirus lockdown after 9 weeks, some businesses allowed to reopen

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The Russian capital on Monday eased restrictions meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus after nine weeks of lockdown, even as the nation reports a continued rise in cases.

Moscow’s non-food retailers, dry cleaners and repair shops and some other businesses reopened as the COVID-19 virus appeared to stabilize in the city, where about half of the nation’s infections were reported. Restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and gyms remain closed.

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While people are still required to obtain electronic passes for traveling, residents are now allowed to walk in the parks and engage in sports activities with time restrictions.

People wearing face masks to protect from coronavirus walk in the rain at VDNKH (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) after reopening in Moscow, Russia, on Monday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)

People wearing face masks to protect from coronavirus walk in the rain at VDNKH (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) after reopening in Moscow, Russia, on Monday. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr)

Most Russian regions were in lockdown since late March, but many already have eased the restrictions to ease the economic pain.

On Monday, Russia reported another 9,035 confirmed cases, the BBC reported.

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Russia has registered nearly 415,000 infections, the world’s third-highest caseload behind the United States and Brazil, which, according to Johns Hopkins University, have 1,797,457 and 514,849 infections, respectively.

Some experts in Russia and abroad have voiced doubts about the nation’s relatively low death toll of 4,855, alleging that the authorities might have underreported coronavirus mortality for political reasons.

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Russian officials have rejected the claims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.