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Regional authorities close Russia’s northern city of Severodvinsk due to mass COVID-19 outbreak


The authorities in Russia’s northern Arkhangelsk region will be restricting entry and exit from the city of Severodvinsk beginning on June 6, the regional government’s website says. 

The city, which is home to approximately 180,000 people, is currently dealing with a large-scale coronavirus outbreak. As of June 3, Severodvinsk had 1,195 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This includes cases among a number of employees of the shipbuilding giant “Sevmash,” which operates out of the Severodvinsk port. 

Authorities in the Arkhangelsk region reported 2,587 officially confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of June 3, claiming that 698 people are known to have recovered from the disease. That said, Russia’s federal agency for the coronavirus announced conflicting data on the morning of June 4, stating that the region had 2,496 cases of the disease, among which 737 patients had recovered. 

Conflicting data also emerged about the number of related deaths: the regional officials reported four deaths due to COVID-19, while the federal authorities reported eight. 

On balance, the outbreak in Severodvinsk accounts for just under half of the COVID-19 infections recorded in the Arkhangelsk region. However, according to TASS, the city has a rate of infection that is 2.6 percent higher than the rest of the region.

The entrance to Severodvinsk is already equipped with checkpoints, and people will only be allowed to travel to and from the city for official purposes, or to receive medical care. Representatives of the security services and people transiting to the neighboring Onezhsky District will also be allowed entry. 

The regional authorities are recommending that large enterprises, including Sevmash, stop organizing transportation for workers from other cities in the region.

Severodvinsk has had a “mandatory mask regime” in place since May 30. 

On June 4, the Russian authorities announced that the country had registered 8,831 new coronavirus cases in the past day, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients to 441,108.