2020 coronavirus pandemic in Russia

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in Russia
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in Russia (Density).svg
Confirmed total cases by federal subjects
  100–999
  10–99
  1–9
   No confirmed cases
COVID-19 outbreak cases per capita in Russia.svg
Confirmed total cases per capita by federal subjects
   1–10 cases per 100,000 inhabitants
   1–10 cases per 1 million inhabitants
   1–10 cases per 10 million inhabitants
   No confirmed cases
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationRussia
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseTyumen and Chita
Arrival date31 January 2020
Confirmed cases1,264[1][2][a]
Active cases1,210
Recovered49[1][2][a]
Deaths
4[1][2][b]

First cases of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic were confirmed in Russia on 31 January 2020. Early prevention measures included closing the border with China and extensive testing. Later measures, after the infection spread from Italy on 2 March, included cancelling events, banning foreigners from entering the country, and closing schools, theatres and museums. There has been some skepticism about the accuracy of Russia's reported infection figures, though officials have acknowledged that the true number of cases has likely been under-reported.[3][4][5][6]

Timeline[edit]

On 31 January, two cases were confirmed, one in Tyumen, another in Chita, Zabaykalsky Krai. Both were Chinese nationals, who have since recovered.[7][8]

On 23 February, eight Russians from the cruise ship Diamond Princess were evacuated to Kazan, Tatarstan where they were hospitalised, including three confirmed cases.[9] These cases were listed as occurring on international conveyance and not included in official Russian statistics by Rospotrebnadzor. These eight people, including the three patients who recovered, were discharged from hospital on 8 March.[10]

Some of Russia's citizens abroad have been confirmed to be infected, a Russian man tested positive in Azerbaijan after having visited Iran, it was confirmed on 28 February. While some days later the Health ministry of the UAE announced that two Russians got the virus in United Arab Emirates.[11]

On 1 March, one woman had escaped from the hospital in Sevastopol (in the disputed-Crimea) before being checked for the virus. She fled to Rostov-on-Don and is on the wanted list.[12]

On 2 March, the first case of coronavirus in Moscow was confirmed.[13][14] A young man fell ill on 21 February while on holiday in Italy, and returned to Russia on 23 February, staying at his house in Moscow Oblast.[13] He showed up with symptoms at a clinic on 27 February, and was then hospitalised in Moscow.[13] He was reported to be recovered on 6 March.[15]

On 5 March, the first case of coronavirus in Saint Petersburg was confirmed. An Italian student returned to Russia from Italy on 29 February, was hospitalised on 2 March and recovered on 13 March.[16][17]

On 6 March, six more cases were confirmed, with five of them being in Moscow and one of them being in Nizhny Novgorod. All of them are reported to be linked to Italy.[18]

On 7 March, four cases were confirmed, three in Lipetsk and one in Saint Petersburg. All of them have returned from Italy.[19]

On 8 March, three new cases in Belgorod, Moscow and Kaliningrad oblasts were confirmed, all of them have returned from Italy.[20]

On 9 March, three cases in Moscow were confirmed, all of them coming from Italy.[21]

On 11 March, eight new cases were confirmed, six in Moscow and two in Moscow Oblast, all people coming from Italy.[22]

On 12 March, six cases were confirmed, including four in Moscow, one in Kaliningrad Oblast and the first case in Krasnodar Krai.[23] On the same day, two tourists arrived from Moscow on 3 March were diagnosed with the disease in Israel.[24]

On 13 March, 11 new cases were confirmed: five in Moscow, three in St. Petersburg, one in Leningrad Oblast, Moscow Oblast, and Perm Krai. All of the patients came from Italy, France, or Austria, except for one who got infected locally.[25]

On 14 March, first two cases in Kemerovo Oblast were confirmed. Also, there were nine new cases in Moscow, one in Moscow Oblast, Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad Oblast each.[26]

On 15 March, four new cases were confirmed, including three in Moscow region and one in Tyumen. The patients had recently visited Spain, Italy, France and Switzerland.[27]

On 16 March, 30 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total number of cases to 93. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced that 7 cases were from contact with other patients while the other 86 were imported.[28] 3 new cases were in Samara Oblast for the first time, with the first cases in Kirov Oblast and Komi Republic.[29]

On 17 March, 21 more cases were confirmed; four in Moscow, two in Samara Oblast, Kaliningrad Oblast, Tver Oblast, one in Moscow Oblast, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Tambov Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Penza Oblast, Tatarstan, Khakassia, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Yaroslavl Oblast.[30] One patient got cured.[1]

On 18 March, 33 new cases were confirmed including 31 in Moscow, one new case in Novosibirsk Oblast and Tomsk Oblast each.[31]

On 19 March, the first death of a patient with confirmed COVID-19 was reported in Moscow. A 79-year-old woman was first hospitalised on 13 March and transferred to a private clinic the next day. Upon confirmation of COVID-19 she was transferred to an intensive care ward in Moscow Infectious Hospital #2. She also suffered from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease (and underwent coronary stenting), coronary and aortic atherosclerosis, chronic pulmonary hypertension, kidney stone disease, and cerebrovascular disease.[32][33] However, pulmonary embolism was identified as the direct cause of her death,[34] she had no pathological changes in lungs,[35] and her death was not officially counted as caused by coronavirus.[36][37] The victim was identified in the media as Valentina Zubareva, professor at the Gubkin University, she had contracted the disease in Russia.[38] 52 new cases were also confirmed in 23 regions including first cases in Chuvashia, Yakutia, Khabarovsk Krai, Ivanovo, Murmansk, Orenburg, Ryazan, Saratov, Tula, Voronezh oblasts, and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, bringing the total number to 199.[39][36]

On 20 March, 54 new cases were confirmed, including 33 in Moscow, 6 in Yakutia, 4 in Saint Petersburg, 4 in Samara Oblast, 2 in Kirov Oblast, 2 in Novosibirsk Oblast, 1 in Moscow Oblast, 1 in Tyumen Oblast, and the first case in Ulyanovsk Oblast.[40]

On 21 March, 53 new cases were confirmed in 18 federal subjects, including first cases in Kabardino-Balkaria (2 cases), Stavropol Krai, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Kurgan Oblast, and disputed Republic of Crimea (1 case each).[41]

On 22 March, 61 new cases were confirmed, including 54 in Moscow, 2 in Kirov Oblast, 1 case in Arkhangelsk Oblast, first cases in Udmurtia (2 cases), Bryansk Oblast, and Novgorod Oblast (1 case each).[42]

On 23 March, 71 new cases were confirmed, all of them in Moscow.[43]

On 24 March, 57 new cases were confirmed, including first cases in Primorsky Krai, Oryol Oblast, the Chechen Republic, Volgograd Oblast and Bashkortostan.[44]

On 25 March, 163 new cases were confirmed, 120 of them in Moscow, with first cases in Pskov Oblast and Rostov Oblast.[45] 2 deaths were also later reported and confirmed in Moscow. The patients were 73 and 88 years old and had been tested positive for the coronavirus.[46]

On 26 March, 182 new cases were confirmed, 136 of them in Moscow, with first cases in Buryatia.[47] According to a source in the hospital and an official report to the prosecutor office, a 83-year-old woman died in Syktyvkar of COVID-19, the death was covered up by the local authorities and not included in the official count.[48][49] An official working under the chief of staff of the prime minister also tested positive for the coronavirus that day.[50]

On 27 March, 196 new cases were confirmed, 157 of them in Moscow, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,036. First cases in Mordovia and Dagestan were confirmed. An additional death in Moscow, a 70 year old woman with pre-existing conditions who tested positive for coronavirus, was also confirmed.[51] On the same day, the Kremlin confirmed that an employee of the presidential administration tested positive for the coronavirus, saying that the official had no contact with the president.[52] Russian singer Lev Leshchenko was also confirmed to have tested positive for the virus.[53] Later in the day, the 4th death was reported, a 56 year old patient with one lung due to cancer, also in Moscow.[54]

On 28 March, the fifth patient died in Orenburg, the first death outside of Moscow. The 57 year old man from Buzuluk, Orenburg Oblast was travelling in France, Spain and Turkey in March. He had a chronic pathology.[55]

Statistics[edit]

COVID-19 cases in Russia  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases
Date
# of cases
2020-01-31
2(n.a.)
2(=)
2020-03-02
3(+50%)
3(=)
2020-03-05
4(+33%)
2020-03-06
10(+150%)
2020-03-07
14(+40%)
2020-03-08
17(+21%)
2020-03-09
20(+17%)
2020-03-10
20(=)
2020-03-11
28(+40%)
2020-03-12
34(+21%)
2020-03-13
45(+32%)
2020-03-14
59(+31%)
2020-03-15
63(+6.8%)
2020-03-16
93(+48%)
2020-03-17
114(+23%)
2020-03-18
147(+29%)
2020-03-19
199(+35%)
2020-03-20
253(+27%)
2020-03-21
306(+21%)
2020-03-22
367(+20%)
2020-03-23
438(+19%)
2020-03-24
495(+13%)
2020-03-25
658(+33%)
2020-03-26
840(+28%)
2020-03-27
1,036(+23%)
2020-03-28
1,264(+22%)
Sources:
  • "Updates published by the Russian news agency TASS". tass.ru (in Russian).
  • Updates by the Russian Ministry of Health[1]
  • Updates published by the government commission on coronavirus[2]
2020 coronavirus pandemic in Russia by federal subjects[2]
Federal subject Cases Recov. Deaths Active
62 out of 85 1,264[a] 49[a] 4[b] 1,210
Moscow Moscow 817 18 4[b] 794
Moscow Oblast Moscow Oblast 85 8 0 77
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg 37 5 0 32
Sverdlovsk Oblast Sverdlovsk Oblast 24 0 0 24
Republic of Crimea Republic of Crimea 20 0 0 20
Krasnodar Krai Krasnodar Krai 17 0 0 17
Yakutia Yakutia 14 0 0 14
Tatarstan Tatarstan[a] 14 1 0 13
Samara Oblast Samara Oblast 14 1 0 13
Krasnoyarsk Krai Krasnoyarsk Krai 12 3 0 9
Kaliningrad Oblast Kaliningrad Oblast 11 1 0 10
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Nizhny Novgorod Oblast 11 1 0 10
Perm Krai Perm Krai 11 0 0 11
Tula Oblast Tula Oblast 11 0 0 11
Chelyabinsk Oblast Chelyabinsk Oblast 9 0 0 9
Buryatia Buryatia 8 0 0 8
Kirov Oblast Kirov Oblast 8 2 0 6
Lipetsk Oblast Lipetsk Oblast 8 3 0 5
Ivanovo Oblast Ivanovo Oblast 7 0 0 7
Leningrad Oblast Leningrad Oblast 7 0 0 7
Novosibirsk Oblast Novosibirsk Oblast 7 0 0 7
Orenburg Oblast Orenburg Oblast 6 0 0 6
Pskov Oblast Pskov Oblast 6 0 0 6
Voronezh Oblast Voronezh Oblast 6 0 0 6
Chechnya Chechnya 5 0 0 5
Khabarovsk Krai Khabarovsk Krai 5 0 0 5
Stavropol Krai Stavropol Krai 5 0 0 5
Bashkortostan Bashkortostan 4 0 0 4
Kabardino-Balkaria Kabardino-Balkaria 4 0 0 4
Udmurtia Udmurtia 4 0 0 4
Sakhalin Oblast Sakhalin Oblast 4 0 0 4
Volgograd Oblast Volgograd Oblast 4 0 0 4
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug 4 0 0 4
Komi Republic Komi Republic 3 0 0 3
Arkhangelsk Oblast Arkhangelsk Oblast 3 0 0 3
Bryansk Oblast Bryansk Oblast 3 0 0 3
Oryol Oblast Oryol Oblast 3 0 0 3
Tambov Oblast Tambov Oblast 3 0 0 3
Kemerovo Oblast Kemerovo Oblast 3 1 0 2
Tyumen Oblast Tyumen Oblast 3 1 0 2
Tver Oblast Tver Oblast 3 2 0 1
Khakassia Khakassia 2 0 0 2
Mordovia Mordovia 2 0 0 2
Primorsky Krai Primorsky Krai 2 0 0 2
Kaluga Oblast Kaluga Oblast 2 0 0 2
Penza Oblast Penza Oblast 2 0 0 2
Rostov Oblast Rostov Oblast 2 0 0 2
Ryazan Oblast Ryazan Oblast 2 0 0 2
Saratov Oblast Saratov Oblast 2 0 0 2
Yaroslavl Oblast Yaroslavl Oblast 2 0 0 2
Tomsk Oblast Tomsk Oblast 2 2 0 0
Adygea Adygea 1 0 0 1
Chuvashia Chuvashia 1 0 0 1
Dagestan Dagestan 1 0 0 1
Belgorod Oblast Belgorod Oblast 1 0 0 1
Kostroma Oblast Kostroma Oblast 1 0 0 1
Kurgan Oblast Kurgan Oblast 1 0 0 1
Murmansk Oblast Murmansk Oblast 1 0 0 1
Novgorod Oblast Novgorod Oblast 1 0 0 1
Smolensk Oblast Smolensk Oblast 1 0 0 1
Ulyanovsk Oblast Ulyanovsk Oblast 1 0 0 1
Zabaykalsky Krai Zabaykalsky Krai 1 1 0 0

Timeline of COVID-19 cases in Russia by federal subjects ()

Date Central Northwestern Southern North Caucasian Volga Ural Siberian Far Eastern
New confirmed
Total confirmed
New recovered
Total recovered
New deaths
Total deaths
Tests Sources
31 Jan 1 1 1 2 [7]
11 Feb 2 1 1 [8]
12 Feb 2 1 2 [8]
2 Mar 1 1 3 2 [14]
5 Mar 1 1 4 2 46,414 [16][56]
6 Mar 5 1 6 10 1 3 51,366 [18][15][57]
7 Mar 3 1 4 14 3 55,688 [19][58]
8 Mar 1 1 1 3 17 3 59,960 [20][59]
9 Mar 3 3 20 3 63,191 [21][60]
11 Mar 2 6 8 28 3 70,601 [22][61]
12 Mar 4 1 1 6 34 3 76,963 [23][62]
13 Mar 1 5 1 3 1 11 45 3 [25][17]
14 Mar 1 9 1 1 2 14 59 3 94,852 [26][63]
15 Mar 3 1 4 63 3 104,883 [27][64]
16 Mar 1 20 1 3 1 1 3 30 93 1 4 109,939 [29][65]
17 Mar 1 1 1 2 1 4 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 21 114 1 5 116,061 [30][66]
18 Mar 31 1 1 33 147 5 122,854 [31][67]
19 Mar 1 5 1 2 3 1 2 12 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 5 1 3 1 1 3 52 199 5 133,101 [36][68]
20 Mar 1 33 4 2 4 1 1 2 6 54 253 7 12 143,519 [40][69]
21 Mar 17 1 2 6 2 2 1 2 2 1 5 4 1 1 3 1 1 1 53 306 4 16 156,016 [41][70]
22 Mar 1 54 1 1 2 2 61 367 16 163,529 [42][71]
23 Mar 71 71 438 1 17 165,772 [43][72]
24 Mar 1 2 2 4 28 2 5 1 1 3 1 1 4 2 57 495 5 22 185,918 [44][73]
25 Mar 1 6 2 120 2 1 1 4 6 4 1 2 1 1 2 1 3 1 3 163 658 7 29 192,824 [45][74]
26 Mar 136 2 5 3 3 5 2 3 7 2 1 3 1 1 1 2 4 1 182 840 9 38 2 2 197,251 [47][75]
27 Mar 1 8 1 1 1 157 12 1 3 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 196 1,036 7 45 1 3 223,509 [51][76]
28 Mar 1 5 1 3 36 1 3 114 3 4 11 1 1 8 2 3 1 3 2 1 4 4 4 2 6 4 228 1,264 4 49 1 4 243,377 [77][78]
Total 1 3 7 2 1 8 85 3 2 1 3 11 3 6 2 817 3 3 11 7 1 1 6 37 1 20 17 2 4 5 1 4 5 4 1 2 14 4 11 8 11 6 1 14 2 1 9 1 24 3 4 2 12 3 7 2 8 14 5 2 1 4 1,264[a] 49[a] 4[b] N/A [1][2]





Government responses[edit]

On 29 January, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on measures to counter the spread of coronavirus in Russia.[79]
On 16 March, Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin held the first meeting of the State Council working group on countering the spread of coronavirus.

Russia implemented preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country by imposing quarantines, carrying raids on potential virus carriers and using facial recognition to impose quarantine measures.[80] Measures to prevent a crisis in Russia include banning the export of medical masks, random checks on the Moscow Metro, and cancellation of large-scale events by schools. The Russian government has also taken measures to prevent foreign citizens from heavily affected countries from visiting Russia.[11]

The Russian consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor advised tourists to refrain from visiting Wuhan and stay away from Chinese zoos and markets selling animals and seafood. The agency also said that development of a vaccine against the virus was underway, relying on the WHO's recommendations.[81][82]

144 Russians were evacuated from Wuhan, the initial centre of the outbreak, and were quarantined in Tyumen Oblast for two weeks from 5 February.[83]

On 4 March, Russia temporarily banned the export of medical masks, gloves, bandages and protective suits.[84]

Anastasia Vasilyeva, leader of the Doctors' Alliance organisation loosely aligned to the Russian opposition and doctor for opposition figure Alexei Navalny, made a series of videos accusing the authorities of concealing the true number of coronavirus cases by using pneumonia and acute respiratory infection as a diagnosis instead. Health officials rejected the allegation, and President Putin addressed concerns about statistics, saying that the government is not covering up the number of cases, though might not have the full picture. The WHO's representative to Russia, Dr. Vujnovic, also expressed skepticism at the allegation.[85][3]

On 21 March, it was announced that Russia delivered over 100,000 test kits to 13 countries, including Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Egypt, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea.[86]

President Putin visits coronavirus patients at Moscow hospital on 24 March

On 22 March, after a phone call with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Russian president Vladimir Putin arranged the Russian army to send medical help to Italy, which was the European country hardest hit by coronavirus.[87]

On 24 March, Chechnya became the first region to close restaurants and cafes.[84] Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin told President Putin at a meeting that "a serious situation is unfolding" and that the relatively low number of confirmed cases could be due to a low level of testing, saying that "there are far more people who are infected" and that the number of people in Moscow suspected of having the coronavirus was about 500.[5][88][89]

Testing[edit]

As of 23 March, Russia has 4 testing systems and has carried out over 165 thousand tests for the coronavirus[90][91] which is among the highest testing numbers in the world.[92] Dr. Melita Vujnovic, the World Health Organization's representative in Russia, stated that Russia, in accordance with WHO recommendations, "started testing literally at the end of January.”[4]

Coronavirus testing in Russia was provided by the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR in Novosibirsk and had to be verified there.[85][3] There was concern that the tests may have insufficient sensitivity,[85][3] despite the fact that the tests were verified in China since early February, showed the degree of sensitivity similar to or higher than other tests and the lab has been approved by the World Health Organization.[85] Since 23 March, European Russia doesn't send their batches to Novosibirsk for verification but verify them in Moscow. There are plans to increase the number of reference centres across the country to 15.[84][90][93]

Two private lab companies started testing on 26 March. According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, 141 state laboratories are conducting tests in 79 federal subjects.[94]

Travel and entry restrictions[edit]

On 23 January, the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk, near the Chinese border, limited access to the country. Cultural exchange and official visits to China were cancelled. The Governors of the Amur Region Vasily Orlov, and of the Penza Oblast Ivan Belozertsev, called on residents to abandon trips to China altogether. Residents of large cities were told to avoid contact with tourists from China.[95]

On 31 January, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said Russia will restrict the entry of foreigners arriving from China, except for flights to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport.[84]

On 20 February, the entry of Chinese citizens was banned. The temporary suspension is for Chinese citizens entering Russia for employment, private, educational and tourist purposes.[84]

On 28 February, Moscow announced that it would deport 88 foreigners for allegedly violating quarantine measures.[80] Russia barred Iranian citizens from entering Russia and said it would also restrict the entry of South Korean citizens from 1 March. Flights between Russia and South Korea are suspended, except for those operated by Aeroflot and Aurora.[84]

President Putin, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin visited the Coronavirus Monitoring Center on 17 March

On 4 March, Russia suspended its train service from Moscow to Nice, France.[84] Aeroflot suspended flights to and from Hong Kong since 9 March.[84]

Flights to and from Italy, Germany, France and Spain are limited since 13 March. Russia also stopped issuing tourist visas to Italian citizens and closed the border to Italian citizens and foreigners coming from Italy.[84]

On 15 March, the land borders with Norway and Poland were closed to all foreigners. Russian Railways announced it would stop passenger trains from Moscow to Berlin and Paris. Earlier it was announced that train connections to and from Ukraine, Moldova and Latvia would be suspended because those countries had closed their borders.[84]

Since 16 March, flights to and from the European Union, Norway and Switzerland were limited to regular flights between capital cities (Geneva in the case of Switzerland) and Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport, and charter flights.[96] Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced that the border with Belarus has been closed for the movement of people and an entry ban for foreigners will be imposed from 18 March to 1 May.[97][98] On 17 March, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Russian embassies and consulates had stopped issuing all types of visas, including e-visas, with exceptions for diplomats, people attending funerals and transit passengers.[99]

On 23 March, Russia restricted air travel from all over the world, except for certain flights from Moscow to major capitals, and charter flights intended to move foreign citizens to their respective countries and Russian nationals back to Russia, until everyone is evacuated.[100]

On 25 March, the Russian government loosened the travel ban to allow the entry for relatives of Russian citizens.[101]

All regular and charter international flights were suspended on 27 March, except for those aimed at bringing Russians home.[102]

On the same day, Grozny Airport refused to receive passengers without permanent or temporary registration in Chechnya.[103]

Following a request from the Government of Moscow,[104] BlaBlaCar carpooling service decided to suspend its activities across Russia starting from 30 March.[105]

Nationwide measures[edit]

On 14 and 15 March, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Higher Education recommended regions to switch the educational process to distance learning if it is necessary.[84][106]

On 17 March, Ministry of Culture announced closing all cultural institutions under its jurisdiction, including museums, theaters, symphonies, and circuses.[107] On the same day, President Vladimir Putin said that the situation was "generally under control".[108]

On 18 March, Minister of Education Sergey Kravtsov announced that all Russian schools would be closed from 23 March to 12 April.[84]

On 19 March, Russia's Chief Sanitary Doctor Anna Popova required all people arriving from abroad to undergo a two-week self-isolation.[109] Russian courts stopped considering all but most urgent cases because of the pandemic until 10 April.[110]

On 24 March, the Russian government adopted a number of decisions, including an instruction to regional authorities to suspend activities of any night clubs, cinemas, children's entertainment centers, and to ban hookah smoking at any restaurants or cafes.[111] The Central Bank recommended all the banks to keep the money for 3–4 days before giving it to clients or loading it into ATMs, and to restrict usage of cash recycling ATMs.[112]

On 25 March, President Putin, in a televised address to the nation, announced that the 2020 Russian constitutional referendum would be postponed due to the coronavirus.[113] He added that the next week would be a nationwide paid holiday and urged Russians to stay at home.[114][115] Putin also announced a list of measures of social protection, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and changes in fiscal policy.[116]

On 26 March, Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov ordered all universities to close from March 28 to April 5.[117]

On 27 March, as a follow-up to Putin's address to the nation, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered all reservations at pensions or holiday houses to be cancelled from 28 March to 1 June, recommended regional authorities to close all the pistes at resorts for the same period, instructed them to force all the public eating places (except for delivery services) to suspend activities from 28 March to 5 April, and recommend the citizens to refrain from travelling.[118] On the same day, the Ministry of Education announced the postponement of the Unified State Exam from the end of May to the beginning of June.[119]

Local measures[edit]

Moscow and Moscow Oblast[edit]

Construction of an infection centre in Moscow in connection with the spread of coronavirus started on March 12.[120] The photo shows progress as of March 16, 2020.
March 21, 2020.

Moscow started the construction of a special hospital for the coronavirus patients near the villages of Babenki [ru] and Golokhvastovo [ru] in Troitsky Administrative Okrug.[121][122] Currently, many Moscow patients arrive to newly-built site of the City Hospital No. 40 in the district of Kommunarka.[123]. The Mukhin and Yudin City Hospitals, City Hospital No. 52,[124] Maxillofacial Hospital for War Veterans, Infectious Hospitals No. 1 and 2, Bashlyaeva Children's Hospital, City Hospital No. 67, and the Sklifosovsky Institute[125] are also receiving patients suspected to have COVID-19; Filatov Hospital No. 15 has been fully transformed to receive them as well.[126]

According to Novaya Gazeta, the Chinese Embassy in Russia has asked Moscow authorities to stop profiling of Chinese nationals on the Moscow city's public transport.[84]

On 6 March, Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin announced a “high alert regime”, ordering self-isolation for two weeks for Russians returning from China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.[84]

On 10 March, Mayor Sobyanin signed a decree for banning mass events in Moscow with more than 5,000 participants from 10 March to 10 April.[127]

On 12 March, the Governor of Moscow Oblast Andrey Vorobyov has announced a high alert status, banning large events with over 5,000 people.[84]

Since 16 March, school attendance was optional in Moscow and Moscow Oblast. According to RBK, Moscow recommended that private schools go on a two-week holiday or switch to distance learning. On 21 March, schools were closed for three weeks.[84]

On 16 March, Moscow extended measures to closing public schools, athletic schools and supplemental education institutions from 21 March to 12 April; banning indoor events with more than 50 attendees and all outdoor mass events. The compulsory 14-day self-isolation which had been previously enforced to people coming China, South Korea and Iran, was extended to those coming from the United States and all European countries.[128]

On 23 March, Mayor Sobyanin ordered all people over 65 to self-isolate at home starting Thursday, saying each would receive 4,000 rubles for following the order.[84] He also suggested that older residents leave Moscow and stay in their dachas. School students' public transportation cards were temporarily suspended, starting from the 5th grade.[129][130]

On 24 March, it was announced that Moscow hospitals would receive up to ₽200,000 (around $2,500) for each coronavirus patient from the city's health insurance fund.[131]

On 25 March, following the respective decision of the federal government, Mayor Sobyanin ordered the closure of all municipal libraries and clubs, as well as cinemas and night clubs, banned hookah smoking in cafes, and suspended any organized leisure social activities, including amusement parks. He also instructed dental clinics to see patients with acute pain or other emergencies only. Municipal multiservice centers suspended services, except for those unavailable online. Free or concessionary use of public transport was suspended for people aged over 65, with chronic diseases, students of vocational schools or high schools.[132]

On 26 March, Mayor Sobyanin ordered restaurants, cafes, bars, canteens, parks, commercial and retail businesses requiring personal attendance, except those providing essential services, like grocery shops and pharmacies, to close during the week from 28 March to 5 April, the holiday week announced by President Putin.[133]

Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast[edit]

On 13 March, the governors of Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Alexander Beglov and Aleksandr Drozdenko announced a high alert status and banned events with more than 1,000 and 300 people respectively.[134]

On 18 March, the Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov banned events and gatherings with more than 50 people.[84]

On 26 March, Mayor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov ordered restaurants, cafes, bars, canteens, parks, places of worship, commercial and retail businesses requiring personal attendance, except those providing essential services, like grocery stores and pharmacies, to close during the holiday week from 28 March to 5 April. Free and concessionary tickets for public transport will be suspended during the week. Leisure facilities including night clubs, children's playrooms, and recreation centres will be closed until 30 April. In Leningrad Oblast only pharmacies, grocery stores, bulding material and household stores will remain open during the holiday week.[135]

Economic impact[edit]

On 20 February, Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov said Russia is losing around 1 billion rubles each day because of decreased trade with China.[136]

On 5 March, the head of the Russian Association of Tour Operators said Russia's tourism sector had already taken a 27 billion ruble hit from the impact of the coronavirus.[137]

As a result of the pandemic, factory output and transportation demand fell, bringing overall demand for oil down as well, and causing oil prices to fall. This triggered an OPEC summit in Vienna on 5 March. At the summit, OPEC agreed to cut oil production by an additional 1.5 million barrels per day through the second quarter of the year.[138] OPEC called on Russia and other non-OPEC members of OPEC+ to abide by the OPEC decision.[139] On 6 March, Russia rejected the demand, marking the end of the partnership, with oil prices falling 10% after the announcement.[140][141] On 8 March, Saudi Arabia initiated an oil price war with Russia, triggering a major fall in the price of oil around 30%.[142] The price war is one of the major causes of the currently ongoing global stock market crash. As the result of the oil price falling, the Russian ruble suffered a fall hitting a four-year low against the U.S. dollar.[143]

On 17 March, First Deputy Minister of Transport and Federal Air Transport Agency head Alexander Neradko said cancellation of international flights during the pandemic threatens to bankrupt multiple Russian airlines. Russian airlines lost an estimated 1.7 billion rubles due to the cancelation of flights to China in February. According to Neradko, airlines could lose another 100 billion rubles in revenues by the end of the year.[144]

On 23 March, Russia’s federal list of “systemically important” companies was expanded to three times, featuring about 600 businesses. According to Vedomosti, the updated list includes new airlines (Rossiya, S7, Utair), airports (Moscow Domodedovo, Saint Petersburg Pulkovo), grocery store chains (Vkusvill [ru], Auchan), fast food chains (McDonald's, Burger King), and retail stores (Sportmaster [ru], IKEA).[145]

On 24 March, Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin issued orders to support businesses which include postponing payments on organizations’ property and land taxes, deferring rental payments, reducing payments fixed in trading contracts and extending the deadlines for paying trade fees. On 25 March, President of Russia Vladimir Putin announced following measures for microenterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses: deferring tax payments (except Russia’s value-added tax) for the next six months, cutting the size of social security contributions in half, deferring social security contributions, deferring loan repayments for the next six months, a six-month moratorium on fines, debt collection, and creditors’ applications for bankruptcy of debtor enterprises. Additionally, a new tax on income from large deposits will be introduced in 2021, and the tax on offshores will be increased.[146][147][148][149] On 27 March, the Association of Banks of Russia reported an increase of deposits closure.[150]

On 25 March, associations of companies of online shopping, retail, culinary and nine other industries sent a letter to Prime Minister Mishustin, in which they warned of a possible collapse of their businesses and asked for numerous additional measures of support.[151] On 26 March, an petition signed by publishing houses and book stores pleading for support was published.[152]

Aeroflot′s low-cost carrier Pobeda Airlines announced it would stop flights on 1 April until 31 May.[153]

Sberbank and VTB Bank with backing from the Central Bank will start offering six-month, interest-free loans to businesses to help them pay employee salaries.[154]

Social impacts[edit]

Event cancellations[edit]

Call center for the coronavirus situation in Moscow at Khodynsky Boulevard located in the gym of school No. 1409.[155]

On 5 March, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov announced cancelling St. Petersburg International Economic Forum which was due to be held from 3 to 6 June 2020.[84]

On 11 March, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu cancelled the Moscow International Security Conference which had been scheduled for 22 to 23 April.[84]

As TASS reported on 17 March, all football, hockey and basketball games were suspended until 10 April.[156] On the same day, UEFA confirmed postponing Euro 2020 until summer 2021, one of the venues of which is Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.[157]

Religious services[edit]

On 17 March, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church instructed the clergy to use disposable cups, gloves, and facial tissue during sacraments and celebrations, disinfect church plates and premises regularly, and refrain from offering the hand for kissing. The partakers were encouraged to refrain from kissing the cup and the cross.[158]

Various Muslim communities closed their mosques. In Moscow, the Cathedral Mosque, the Old Mosque, and the Memorial Mosque on Poklonnaya Hill closed on 18 March.[159] On 23 March, mosques in Crimea and Sevastopol were shut down.[160] On the next day, all the mosques in Krasnodar Krai and Adygea were closed as well.[161] Same measures are planned in Dagestan.[162]

On 18 March, Rabbi Berel Lazar closed the Bolshaya Bronnaya Synagogue, Maryina Rosha Synagogue, and Zhukovka Jewish Center.[163] It was reported that 11 members of the community were hospitalized, with four COVID-19 cases confirmed, with the first one being a rabbi who felt sick after Purim celebration on 9 March.[164][165] On 24 March, Rabbi Berel Lazar and the Federation of Jewish Communities recommended all the synagogues to close down and the community centers and Jewish schools to switch to distance education.[166]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Excluding 3 recovered cases from Diamond Princess cruise ship which are classified as "on an international conveyance".
  2. ^ a b c d One death of a patient with COVID-19 was not officially recorded as caused by coronavirus

External links[edit]

Media related to COVID-19 pandemic in Russia at Wikimedia Commons

References[edit]

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