– Moscow on Monday imposed a lockdown in a bid to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus
(Covid-19) as Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked regional
authorities to make similar preparations.
The enforcement of the tough new
rules, which were suddenly announced by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin late on Sunday,
coincide with the beginning of a “non-working” week declared by
President Vladimir Putin last week.
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Europe’s largest city announced
the strict new isolation measures after many Muscovites refused to heed
official recommendations and self-isolate at the weekend and instead went to
parks for barbecues.
On Monday, the streets of Moscow
were deserted following the closure of all non-essential shops, including
restaurants and cafes, but traffic was still seen on the roads in the city
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“I ask regional heads to
work on the introduction of quarantines similar to the one introduced in
Moscow,” Mishustin said at a government meeting.
In a rare televised address last
Wednesday, Putin announced that Russians would not be required to go to work
this week, but would still get paid.
The country has so far reported 1
534 cases of coronavirus and eight deaths, with more than one thousand
infections in the capital.
The new restrictions apply to all
of the city’s residents, regardless of age.
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Muscovites will only be allowed
to leave their homes in cases of a medical emergency, to travel to jobs judged
essential, and to shop for food or medicines.
People will be allowed to take
out trash and walk their dogs within a 100m radius of their homes.
The new isolation rules, which
will be policed by a vast system of facial-recognition cameras in Moscow, come
into force as Russia closes its borders as part of increasingly stringent
measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
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