RUSSIALINK: “Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | March 20”- Moscow Times

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 20, 2020)

As the new coronavirus that has killed more than 10,000 people continues to spread around the world, Russia has stepped up its measures to tackle the pandemic and prevent its spread within the country.

There have been 199 cases of coronavirus infections reported in Russia so far and one death.

Below are the latest updates on Russia’s response to the coronavirus:

March 20

  • There is “no need” for President Vladimir Putin to take a coronavirus test because he hasn’t shown any symptoms of the illness, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
  • The Russian Armed Forces’ spring draft will go on as planned despite the coronavirus, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a military meeting. All new recruits will be checked for the virus, he said.
  • Moscow traffic police have launched spot checks on the city’s taxis to ensure drivers wear face masks and regularly disinfect their vehicles. Under new regulations, drivers must change masks every three hours and use sanitizer to clean their hands and disinfect their vehicles twice a day.
  • Russia has canceled a scheduled test for compliance with its “internet isolation” law due to the coronavirus, officials told Interfax.

March 19

  • Russia has reported 52 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 199. This marks a 35% jump in cases in the past 24 hours.
  • A 79-year-old Russian woman with pre-existing conditions has died in a Moscow hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus. It is the first coronavirus-related death in the country.
  • President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed the coronavirus by phone and agreed to deepen cooperation on developing pharmaceuticals, the Kremlin said. Putin praised China’s efforts in preventing the spread of the virus which emerged in China late last year, the Kremlin said in a readout of the phone call.
  • The Russian government announced a “high alert” status for all 85 of its regions, requiring the whole country to take anti-coronavirus measures such as banning large gatherings, moving schools to online classes and encouraging working from home.
  • Russia’s consumer protection watchdog has ordered mandatory two-week isolation at home for all people entering the country even if they show no symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Russian courts will stop considering all except the most urgent cases from Thursday onwards until April 10 to contain the spread of coronavirus, a decision by the Supreme Court on Wednesday showed.
  • Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport – the capital’s main international transport hub – will close two of its terminals, C and E, starting Friday as closing borders and travel restrictions have suspended many flight routes. Flights operating out of terminals C and E will be transfered to terminals D and F.
  • The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said it will invest in Medpromresurs, a Russian company that is currently developing coronavirus tests….

March 18

  • Russia reported 33 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total up to 147 from 114 the previous day and marking a 29% increase.
  • President Vladimir Putin has ordered an April 22 nationwide vote on constitutional amendments, which would allow him to run again for president. He said the vote will be postponed if the coronavirus pandemic requires it.
  • Russian schools will go on a three-week vacation from March 23 to April 12 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov said.
  • Russia will limit flights to the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates starting Friday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered.
  • Russian prisoners, students and military personnel will produce medical masks and other equipment as the country faces down the coronavirus pandemic, the RBC news website reported.
  • Employees of the presidential administration and journalists covering President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming trips are being tested for coronavirus, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
  • Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has urged employers to allow their employees to work from home to prevent the spread of infection.
  • St. Petersburg has banned events and gatherings with more than 50 attendees as well as all sporting and cultural events.
  • The Federal Penitentiary Service said it will suspend visits to inmates in pre-trial detention centers and prisons.
  • Journalists accredited with foreign media outlets have been barred from the Russian State Duma over the coronavirus, BBC Russian correspondent Pyotr Kozlov said. Journalists from Russian media are still permitted to enter, he added.
  • Moscow’s network of facial recognition cameras has detected more than 200 people who violated orders to self-quarantine because they might be infected with the virus, the city’s police chief Oleg Baranov said.
  • Russia has closed Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s tomb on Moscow’s Red Square to the public, the Kremlin guard service said, making it the latest Russian tourist attraction to shut down amid coronavirus fears. The Kremlin wall necropolis, where Soviet leaders such as Josef Stalin are buried, will also be closed.
  • The annual Eurovision song contest has been canceled due to the coronavirus epidemic, its organizers announced. Rave-pop band Little Big had been set to represent Russia in this year’s competition. …

[Article also appeared at themoscowtimes.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-in-russia-the-latest-news-march-20-a69117]