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Confirmed Virus Cases Quickly Rising in Russia

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo provided by Russian Direct Investment Fund, an employee works with a coronavirus vaccine at the Nikolai Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, Russia. (Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Russian Direct Investment Fund via AP, File)

MOSCOW -- Confirmed coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in Russia, where authorities on Friday reported 12,505 new infections -- a 25% increase from the number registered on Monday.

Moscow accounted for nearly half of the newly confirmed cases with 5,853, almost twice the number reported in Russia's capital at the beginning of the week Despite the surge of infections, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin vowed earlier this week not to impose a lockdown.

In St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, hours-long lines of ambulances have been spotted this week near hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. The city hosted a massive economic forum last week and is scheduled to host several matches of soccer’s European Championship next week.

The Russian state coronavirus task force has reported a total of nearly 5.2 million virus cases and over 125,000 deaths in the pandemic. Most virus-related restrictions in Russia were lifted last summer, and authorities have shunned tough measures ever since.