07:22 GMT04 July 2020
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    Russia has reported over 650 cases of COVID-19, with the state introducing a series of measures to battle the virus.

    Two Russians infected with the new coronavirus have died in Moscow, bringing the total death toll to three, the country's coronavirus response headquarters reported Wednesday.

    The victims were 73 and 88 years old. In addition to COVID-19, the patients were said to have accute concomitant pathologies.

    The headquarters reminded people 65 years old and older and those with chronic disease of the importance of self-isolation in their apartments or dacha country residences.

    Moscow has a total of 410 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with Russia as a whole having 658 cases. 15 residents of the capital have recovered completely so far.

    Russia has taken a series of precautionary measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, including border closures and the ramping up of production of medical equipment, as well as the testing of potential vaccines. The government has advised all Russian nationals returning home from abroad to self-isolate, and for people to practice social distancing. The elderly have been asked to stay indoors as much as possible owing to the heightened risks to their health.

    On Wednesday, President Putin introduced additional measures to combat the disease, including a delay in the planned April 22 vote on proposed amendments to the constitution, and a week-long paid holiday for workers in non-essential industries. Russia has also sent aid to some neighbouring countries, as well as Italy, in a sign of solidarity with nations fighting the outbreak.

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