27 Sep 2023 11:45

No need for mask mandate in Russia - head of consumer health watchdog

ASTRAKHAN. Sept 27 (Interfax) - The current epidemiological situation in Russia does not require a mask mandate, head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) Anna Popova has said.

"The current morbidity level and the structure of sickness severity do not require a nationwide mask mandate," Popova told reporters on the sidelines of the second international exercise of mobile laboratories for rapidly responding to infectious diseases in the Astrakhan region.

A mask mandate is imposed among professional groups whenever necessary, and such decisions are made by regional authorities, Popova said

The epidemiological situation is worse in some regions than in others, but it is mostly related to acute respiratory viral infections rather than flu or Covid-19, she said.

Chief freelance infectious disease specialist of the Russian Health Minister Vladimir Chulanov said earlier on Wednesday that cold and flu morbidity had exceeded epidemic levels by 20% in 35 Russian cities.