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Kremlin says Russia able to be flexible in COVID-19 response despite surge

Medical specialists wearing protective gear talk next to ambulances near the Aleksandrovskaya hospital, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Saint Petersburg, Russia October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia could afford to be more flexible in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic than earlier this year when it imposed a lockdown.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia had more room for manoeuvre this time round because of better available treatment methods, more hospital beds, and a tried and tested system in place to tackle the virus.

Russia, which has no lockdown currently, recorded a new record increase in coronavirus cases on Sunday. Earlier on Monday, new cases remained close to that level.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn