Turning to Tai Chi to recover from COVID

Mixing movement with breath, the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi is helping COVID patients in Moscow recover from the virus.

"I am certain that it is helpful. You just need to master these moves. I think all these eastern breathing techniques are for the better, they make you healthy. This is helpful and useful also on the aesthetic level - people have something to do except for just lying around watching the ceiling and everything else."

Patients have been taking on the practice at the Krylatskoye Ice Palace, which has been converted into a temporary hospital.

Alexander Aliev, a doctor and Tai Chi instructor:

"We are using methods developed in fighting tuberculosis and other lung diseases here at the ice palace. We are using Tai Chi breathing exercises, which, along with health aids allows us to speed up the rehabilitation of the patients, to minimize the number of complications during the healing process and complications which might remain after."

Russia reported 21,887 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday (January 21) taking the total to 3,655,839 since the pandemic began, making it the world's fourth-highest tally.

Moscow will relax some restrictions from Friday (January 22), including fully reopening colleges and specialist education institutions.