Municipal employees wearing protective suits disinfect a railway station in Moscow, Russia, May 19, 2020. (Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Xinhua)

More than 8.9 million lab tests for COVID-19 have been conducted across the country so far.

MOSCOW, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Russia has confirmed 8,946 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, raising its total number of infections to 353,427, its coronavirus response center said in a statement Monday.

The death toll grew by 92 to 3,633, while 118,798 people have recovered, including 5,499 over the last 24 hours, according to the statement.

Moscow, the country's worst-hit region, confirmed 2,560 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 166,473.

Russia's consumer rights and human well-being watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement Monday that 287,683 people were under medical observation as of Sunday.

More than 8.9 million lab tests for COVID-19 have been conducted across the country so far, it added.

Rospotrebnadzor's head Anna Popova said Sunday on Rossiya-1 television channel that the pandemic situation in Russia had stabilized.

She said that the virus spread ratio indicating how many people an infected person can pass the disease on to before isolation, which used to be less than one or equal to one in only nine regions, is now less than one in 27 regions and is equal to one in 17 regions.

Therefore, 44 out of Russia's 85 regions could "proceed today or tomorrow to the first stage of the removal of restrictions imposed because of COVID-19," Popova said.

"Our scientists say that we'll be able to move on to the next stage after two more weeks," she said.

At the first stage, people may be allowed to engage in outdoor sports and reopen small businesses, while at the second stage, people will be allowed to walk on the streets with family members and educational institutions may reopen.

In Moscow, on Monday, some government agencies resumed receiving visitors. City residents will again be able to apply for passports, driver's licences and obtain other documents, the Moscow Mayor's office said on its website. 

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