World Health Organization (WHO) spokeswoman Margaret Harris said Tuesday that countries in Western Europe are seeing a “steady decline” of cases, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the continent.
“It’s not speedy, but there’s a steady decline in new cases being reported daily, so that means that the number of new cases are still significant but the number is coming down -- except for Russia and Eastern Europe, where we are still seeing the rise,” she said, according to Reuters.
Russia has reported at least 423,000 cases – making it the world’s third-highest reported total only behind Brazil and the United States. More than 5,000 deaths have been attributed to the COVID-19 virus in Russia.
On Monday, Moscow eased restrictions on non-food retailers, dry cleaners, and repair shops in an effort to restart the city’s economy. Restaurants, cafes, hairdressers and gyms remained closed.
The two main Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Moscow -- the Christ the Savior Cathedral and the Epiphany Cathedral at Yelokhovo -- welcomed parishioners again on Tuesday.
The move was coordinated with federal and city officials. Churchgoers are supposed to wear medical masks and maintain a proper distance from others during services.
Other churches in the Russian capital are scheduled to reopen on Saturday. Moscow churches have been closed to parishioners since April 13.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin has instructed his government to take quick steps to repair the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin reported to Putin on Tuesday that the Cabinet’s plan contains measures designed to stimulate economic growth, raise incomes and reduce unemployment. It envisages spending 5 trillion rubles (about $73 billion) until December 2021.
Putin claims the nation is past the peak of contagion; however, a daily increase of about 9,000 new confirmed cases makes a quick lifting of the lockdown dangerous.
Fox News' Stephen Sorace and the Associated Press contributed to this report.