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COVID-19 cases spike in Saratov after a brief easing of quarantine restrictions and the region locks down again

Officials in the Saratov region have reinstated quarantine measures after a brief easing of restrictions on outdoor activities led to another wave of coronavirus infections. In an announcement on Monday, Alexander Strelyukhin, the regional government’s cabinet head, urged residents to be patient and take health officials’ recommendations more seriously. 

Less than a week ago, on May 12, people in the Saratov region were permitted to resume going on walks of groups of no more than two people while observing social distancing. On May 18, the region recorded 1,871 new cases of COVID-19. After easing restrictions, the number of new daily coronavirus infections in the region started rising 7.5 percent (whereas Russia’s average case growth nationally is just 3.9 percent).