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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow's Holidays See Accidents Down, Flu Up

The common fears of drunks, dark empty streets and higher risk of fires, all associated with the just-completed holiday season, have proved groundless in Moscow, according to data provided by the city's emergency services.


"It would be truly wonderful if we could have holidays all year around," joked a spokesman for the Moscow Road Police, or GAI.


According to Alexander Mantsevich of the city GAI press office, the number of road accidents involving injuries dropped from an average of 20 to 13 or even seven per day in the beginning of the year.


"There was a dramatic reduction in the number of cars on the street. People realize that in the present road conditions it is better to stay at home especially if it comes to celebrations," the spokesman said.


Likewise, the city police noted that crime was low over the holiday period. According to Vladimir Zubkov, deputy head of the city police press office, the crime rate dropped by 40 percent last week.


Sergei Kochetov of the city's fire-fighting department speculated that the comparative drop in all such city statistics can be easily explained: All the criminals were just sitting at home and celebrating. "They've just been drunk, but now they will come out and start all over again," he said.


In the firefighting field there were hardly any changes either. According to Kochetov, there was just one extra fire caused by the electrical garland on a Christmas tree. That increased the number from seven last year to eight for the same period in 1997.


But there has been one slight glitch in the city's otherwise peaceful holiday existence.


According to data from the Moscow Sanitary and Epidemiological Inspection, Moscow is being swept by a wave of flu. Around 64,000 Muscovites -- including the president -- are currently suffering from acute respiratory infection, Interfax said Thursday.