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Russia said on Friday it was ending all restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19, including the requirement to wear masks, citing a steady decline in deaths from the virus.
However, he did not rule out reintroducing restrictive measures if the situation worsens.
The consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said it was “suspending previously introduced restrictions, including the mask regime, a ban on public catering at night and a number of other measures”.
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He said that the dynamics of the virus were consistent with global trends and that 93% of confirmed cases were mild or asymptomatic.
Since the start of the pandemic in Russia in April 2020, more than 800,000 people have died from coronavirus or COVID-19-related causes, Reuters calculations show, with the country registering more than 18 million infections.
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Russia rushed to develop and launch its Sputnik V vaccine when the pandemic hit, but uptake was slow, with many Russians citing distrust of authorities and fear of new medical products. About 52% of the population has been fully vaccinated.