ABC News – Russia began to slightly ease its nationwide lockdown on Tuesday even as its number of coronavirus cases continued to grow, with the country overtaking Spain to become the second largest epidemic in the world behind only the United States. Russia’s health ministry said the country now has 232,243 confirmed cases, following a week where it had been registering more than 10,000 new cases a day.

Highlighting the epidemic’s grip, President Vladimir Putin’s longtime spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on Tuesday also said he had tested positive for the virus and was being treated in a hospital with his wife.

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