BREAKING NEWS

Russia's coronavirus cases rise to 87,147, surpass China's

Russia overtook China in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday when its tally climbed above 87,000, as pressure rose on the government to consider easing lockdown restrictions for businesses to help shore up the rattled economy.
Russia, the world's largest country by territory, has been on lockdown since President Vladimir Putin announced the closure of most public spaces on March 25. These measures are due to expire on April 30 and Putin has not yet said if he plans to extend them.
Anna Popova, the head of Russia's safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, told state television on Monday that, in her view, restrictions should be in place until May 12.
Earlier Prime Minister Mikhail Mishushin asked his government to submit proposals by Thursday to ease some of the restrictions on businesses. Many firms have warned that they risk going bankrupt if the lockdown continues, and thousands of jobs have been laid off.
"As soon as situation will be changing for good, we would need to consider a step-by-step cancellation of restrictions on certain companies... operations," Mishustin told an online government meeting.
On Monday, the authorities reported 6,198 new cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the total to 87,147, with 794 deaths.
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