Patients lie in an intensive care unit of a hospital treating people infected with the coronavirus disease in Moscow, Russia May 18, 2020. (Reuters)
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Monday that the growth in new coronavirus cases had been stopped in Russia, which has recorded the world's largest number of infections after the United States.
"The situation with the spread of the coronavirus infection remains difficult, but we can still acknowledge that we managed to put a stop to the growth of infections," Mishustin told a government meeting.
Russia on Monday reported under 9,000 virus infections for the first time since the beginning of May, after seeing a steady daily rise of around 10,000 cases for more than two weeks.
Speaking to a task force responsible for the coronavirus epidemic response, he said the number of Russians recovering from the illness was growing.
"More and more people are recovering and being discharged from hospitals home," Mishustin said.
"We see in this the result of the systematic work that has been carried out in Russia over the past two months," he said.
According to official statistics published Monday, 2,722 patients recovered over the last 24 hours and more than 70,000 Russians are no longer infected with the coronavirus.
The prime minister said a nationwide lockdown imposed in late March had played an important role in slowing the rate of new cases.
He said the strict isolation regime "allowed us to gain time and prevent an explosive increase in the rate, as was the case in a number of foreign countries."
Mishustin is the highest ranking Russian official to have tested positive for the coronavirus after announcing on television he was self-isolating late last month.
Russia has a total of 290,678 coronavirus infections.