Moscow residents clad in face masks and gloves have ventured into Red Square for an outdoor book market, a small sign of the Russian capital’s gradual efforts to open up amid coronavirus concerns.
Although the city’s ban on public gatherings continues, authorities gave permission to hold the market under tight limitations. Visitation to the outdoor bookstalls is limited to 6,000 people a day, divided into five two-hour shifts, and all the shoppers had to apply for permission and receive QR codes for admittance.
Many of the attendees on Saturday appeared unconcerned about social distancing as they browsed, but market workers periodically sprayed the books and shelves with disinfectant.
Russia reported its second-highest one-day death toll from COVID-19 even as the number of new coronavirus infections remained steady.
The national coronavirus task force said Saturday that 197 people died over the past day, sharply up from 144 a day earlier. The highest one-day death toll was 232 on May 29.
There were 8,855 new infection cases overall. Russia has recorded more than 458,000 cases, including 5,725 deaths.
Although Moscow and its surroundings have been the epicenter of the pandemic, accounting for about half of the infections and deaths, the figures reported Saturday showed only about one-third of the new infections were in the capital area.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)