Russian authorities have said they will not impose nationwide lockdowns as they did earlier in the pandemic, stressing the importance of hygiene and targeted measures in certain regions instead.
Asked why only the Siberian region of Buryatia had imposed major COVID-19 restrictions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said regional governors were the ones who decided what measures were required in their respective regions.
"Everything depends on the number of hospital beds, on (material) reserves, on the number of medical staff, doctors, hospital occupancy rates and the rate at which patients are recovering," he told reporters on a conference call. "This is why each governor makes decisions based on the situation in their territory."
Last week authorities in Buryatia, which borders Mongolia, closed restaurants, shopping malls, bars and public facilities for two weeks in a bid to stem the spread of virus, making it the first and only Russian region to impose harsh restrictions in response to the pandemic's second wave. The country's coronavirus taskforce on Monday reported 361 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 36,540.With more than 2.1 million infections, Russia has the world's fifth largest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and France.