Sat, 06 Jun 2020

The global death toll is nearing 76,000 with more than 1.3 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness.

Here's a roundup of developments in RFE/RL's broadcast countries.


The Russian Railways company has suspended dozens of long-distance routes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it had suspended 53 routes for an indefinite period and reduced the frequency of 37 others operating across the country as of April 7.

The change included a 50 percent cut in the frequency of the popular Sapsan high-speed trains connecting Moscow with the country's second-largest city, St. Petersburg.

According to the company, the move was made due to a sharp decrease in the number of passengers using railways across the country amid restrictions on the movement of people by officials looking to slow the outbreak.

The company said that the number of refunds for tickets in April has been five times higher than the corresponding figure in April 2019, while there have been three times as many refunds for trips scheduled for May than in the same month last year.

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In general, the number of tickets sold for trips in April is 40 percent lower and for trips in May it is 60 percent lower than in the same months in 2019, it added.

Russian Railways said that it would restore regular train schedules as soon as the situation allows.

Russia's coronavirus task force said on April 7 that 7,497 coronavirus cases had been registered in the country, including 58 deaths.

Government critics have warned the low numbers compared with other European nations could be a sign officials are purposely underreporting the outbreak, or that testing has been ineffective.

Some 494 persons who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, according to officials.

With reporting by Interfax, NTV, and TASS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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