Russia became the second largest epidemic in the world behind the United States.
Its health ministry said the country now has 232,243 confirmed cases, following a week where it had been registering more than 10,000 new cases a day. Almost 70,000 people are currently hospitalized in Russia, according to Russia’s chief medical adviser, Anna Popova. Russia's prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has also already spent more than a week in the hospital after testing positive for the virus and now Vladimir Putin’s longtime spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also said he had tested positive for the virus. He had not met Putin in person for a month.
However, on Tuesday, Russia formally began the first phase of easing its lockdown. Regions could begin deciding when and how to lift the restrictions that have required businesses to close and non-essential workers to remain at home. Different levels of restrictions across the Russian territory will apply. In Moscow, which remains in lockdown until May 31, although construction sites and factories can now return to work, is mandatory for people to wear masks and gloves in public spaces. The most common step in relaxation across the country was to allow people to walk outside and do some sports.