Moscow shuts pools and fitness clubs in coronavirus battle

By Gleb Stolyarov
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask holds a pack of buckwheat next to empty shelves in a supermarket in Moscow

By Gleb Stolyarov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow has closed all sports facilities including swimming pools and fitness clubs due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Russian capital's health authorities said on Saturday.

Russia has reported 306 cases of the virus, most of them in Moscow, and one death. The country has introduced a raft of economic and social measures to limit its spread.

Moscow had already suspended most public events and restricted mass gatherings, as well as banning the entry of foreign nationals and closing some schools.

MGIMO, one of Russia's main universities and alma mater of most foreign ministry officials, closed down this week as a preventive measure.

Russia's largest car maker Avtovaz <AVAZI_p.MM>, which employs around 35,000 workers in the city of Togliatti, reported the first two cases of coronavirus among its workers on Saturday.

Avtovaz's factory does not plan to stop production, a representative of the company, who asked not to be named, said. There have been coronavirus cases confirmed at Togliatti before Avtovaz.

"The situation is under control," the representative added. "Everything is working, is on schedule."

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Holmes)