Russian authorities imposed a mandatory quarantine on Monday in Moscow, St. Petersburg and fifteen other regions of the country after numerous cases of non-compliance with voluntary confinement ordered last week.
“This is a justified and necessary measure for a large city with many millions of inhabitants that was the first (in Russia) to come across the coronavirus,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said today.
DISOBEDIENCE TO CONFINEMENT
Putin urged the Muscovites and inhabitants of the Moscow region, some 20 million people, to take the quarantine “with the utmost seriousness and responsibility”, and also warned authorities in other regions that he should not apply the measures to Rajatabla will be accused of “criminal negligence”.
Next, St. Petersburg announced a similar move, followed by fifteen other regions of the country, from the European part of Russia to Siberia and the Far East.
Only two days after Moscow closed all non-essential businesses, the City Council and also the central government were forced to acknowledge that “not everyone” obeys the request to “stay home.”
Images of open businesses, people walking, biking or eating outdoors, old people in churches and tourists in the Black Sea showed that some Russians misinterpreted the “paid vacation” ordered by the president in his message to the nation.
The reaction was immediate. On Sunday the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobianin, announced a general quarantine, which today received the political support of the Kremlin, although some politicians said that this prerogative corresponded exclusively to the President.
Starting Monday and until April 5, Muscovites and inhabitants of the Moscow region will not be able to leave their homes, unless they carry out essential work in person.
Until now, this mandatory confinement only applied to the elderly and chronically ill, almost two million people.
“The tragic example of the Italian and Spanish cities, and also of New York, where tens and hundreds of people die every day, we all bear this in mind. I ask you to be careful,” said Sobianin.
The exception to the rule will be to make purchases in neighboring stores, walk the dog a maximum distance of one hundred meters from the house and take out the garbage.
Apart from insisting on the 1.5-meter safety distance between Muscovites, Sobianin announced that in a few days only those who have a special pass issued by the authorities will be able to leave the house.
In addition, the local authorities guarantee a subsidy of 19,500 rubles per month (about 220 euros) to the inhabitants of the capital who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus.
According to the latest data, Moscow has 1,226 cases, two thirds of the total number of positives in the country (1,836 and nine deaths, six of them in the capital), after a national increase of 302 in the number of infected in the last 24 hours.
RED SQUARE DESERT
Today, the Muscovites seemed to take the new official guidelines very seriously, as the streets of the city woke up deserted.
Instead of the usual street frenzy and recurring traffic jams, the city’s main arteries, from central Tverskaya to the streets surrounding the Kremlin, were virtually empty.
Red Square did not close, but the only people who wandered its cobblestones were police patrols with masks, photojournalists and a couple with a little girl who took photos of the Cathedral of Saint Basil as who does not want the thing.
In the Alejandro Gardens or in the Plaza de la Revolución the only passers-by were the cleaning services and some homeless people who complained about the drop in temperatures.
No sign of tourists, Russians or foreigners. The exclusive boutiques in the center were closed tight, as were the famous GUM Stores and the Ojotni Riad shopping center.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin spoke to the mayor today and proposed extending the mandatory quarantine throughout the country to slow the advance of COVID-19.
FROM MOSCOW TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
Mishustin defended the measures in Moscow as “a logical continuation of the president’s policy to fight the coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, Putin addressed the quarantine with his representatives in the country’s regions, whom he considered directly responsible for the application of measures to minimize the impact of the epidemic in their territories.
“Our actions must be well-founded and professional. Precisely, this policy has allowed us to save time, stop an explosive spread of the coronavirus in the past weeks, and now we must put that time reserve to good use,” he assured. .
In particular, he called on “all regions” to exponentially increase the number of tests, locate and isolate Russians who have returned from countries with high numbers of infected, increase the number of hospital beds and take advantage of the experience of other countries, and also appealed to solidarity between the regions of the country.
In no time and not seen, the country’s second largest city, Saint Petersburg, and key regions in this country, such as the Republic of Tatarstan, in the Volga, the Sverdlovsk region (Urals), the Baltic enclave, were added to the total quarantine. from Kaliningrad or Siberian Yakutia.
Of course, the fifteen days of quarantine initially announced only apply to those over 65, while the rest of the population should stay home, in principle, only until April 5.
STATE OF EMERGENCY LAW
The Duma or Chamber of Deputies and the Senate announced that on Tuesday they will hold extraordinary meetings in which they will pass laws that will allow the Government to more effectively combat the coronavirus.
Among these measures, as explained by the President of the Duma, Viacheslav Volodin, is the authorization of the Government to declare a state of emergency throughout the national territory.
In addition, a law will also be passed stipulating fines of up to two million rubles (more than 22,000 euros) and penalties of up to seven years in prison for those who violate quarantine.