March 12, 2020 / 12:33 PM / 21 days ago

Russian religious anti-coronavirus event called off due to containment measures

MOSCOW, March 12 (Reuters) - A Russian Orthodox Church procession intended to pray for those infected with the coronavirus has been called off because of a ban on large public gatherings to help curb the disease’s spread, the event’s organiser said on Thursday.

Religious believers in the city of Lipetsk, where authorities have recorded three cases of the illness, had planned to carry out the procession through the city on Sunday.

But Yuri Bernikov, the organiser and leader of a Lipetsk religious group, announced on Russian social network VK that the procession had been cancelled.

He asked believers to pray at home or at church instead.

Lipetsk, 375 kilometres (233 miles) southeast of Moscow, has already closed schools and banned public and sporting events as a precaution.

Russia has so far officially recorded 28 cases of the coronavirus. (Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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