With Coronavirus Cases Spike, Sobyanin Urges Employers to Send Staff Home

Moscow’s mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered employers on Thursday to send at least 30% of their staff home to work, to halt coronavirus infections that are now rising by around 2,000 a day in the Russian capital, Reuters reported.

Writing on his blog, Sobyanin said hospitalization of people with COVID-19 were rising in Moscow by around 5,000 per week and that the share of children among the city’s sick had risen above 19% for the first time.

He said that from Monday, Oct. 5, employers must ask at least 30% of their staff to work remotely, as well as all employees over 65 and those with chronic medical conditions.

“I hope these measures will be sufficient to halt the growth in the infection rate and we will not have to take any more severe measures,” Sobyanin said.

Exceptions include healthcare workers and employees of the defence sector, he added.

Moscow, the epicentre of Russia’s coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, registered 2,424 new cases overnight, officials said on Thursday.

The country as a whole reported 8,945 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily tally since June 12, pushing the national total to 1,185,231, the fourth-highest in the world.

Authorities said 169 people had died nationwide in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 20,891.