MOSCOW: It's Friday night in Moscow, and popular bars and restaurants in the city center are packed. No one except the staff is wearing a mask or bothers to keep their distance. There is little indication at all that Russia is being swept by a resurgence of Coronavirus infections.
I believe that everyone will have the disease eventually, says Dr. Alexandra Yerofeyeva, an internal medicine specialist at an insurance company, while sipping a cocktail at The Bix bar in Moscow.
She adds cheerfully: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The outbreak in Russia this month is breaking the records set in the spring when a lockdown to slow the spread of the virus was put in place. But, as governments across Europe move to reimpose restrictions to counter rising cases, authorities in Russia are resisting shutting down businesses again.
Some regions have closed nightclubs or limited the hours of bars and restaurants, but few measures have been implemented in Moscow, which is once again the epicenter of the surge.
On Friday, Russian authorities reported over 15,000 new infections, the highest daily spike so far in the pandemic. Moscow with less than 10 per cent of the population accounts for up to 30 per cent of new infections each day.
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October 19 2020