COVID Lockdown

Russia Debating Nationwide Lockdown In Response To Coronavirus Pandemic

Russia is moving towards a nationwide lockdown as coronavirus concerns continue to grow. This Monday, Moscow’s Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered his 12.7 million residents to stay home beginning this week. President Vladimir Putin defended the Mayor’s tough actions as “justified” considering the severity of the pandemic that the entire world is currently enduring. 

The exceptions to Moscow’s lockdown policy include leaving your home for emergencies/supplies, and as of right now the measures will be in effect until April 14th. Confirmed cases of covid-19 jumped up to 1,220 this week, a fifth of them occurring over the course of one night, hence the new strict measures. Official data cites that nine people in Russia have died due to the coronavirus as well. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Over the coming week, a smart system of monitoring compliance with the home regime and established rules for the movement of citizens will be deployed. Muscovites with a mild course of COVID-2019 are being treated under the supervision of doctors at home. As prescribed by doctors, they will receive antiviral drugs for free. Also, as a preventive measure, doctors and other specialists involved in counteracting the spread of new coronavirus infection will receive free antiviral drugs. Free medicine will be delivered by an ambulance, clinic staff or volunteers,” Moscow Mayor Sibyanin said in an online statement this week. 

Emergency medical reasons, work obligations, and going to the grocery store/pharmacy are the only valid reasons Moscow residents are allowed to leave their homes. If they need to walk their pet they must remain within 300 feet of their property and must remain at least 6 feet away from any other individuals that they may be around. Like in the US, Sobyanin ordered this lockdown after closing all non-essential businesses. So far movement in the city is down by two-thirds, and he hopes these continued efforts will keep that movement to a minimum. 

Moscow was under major fire from the World Health Organization last week after multiple pictures were shared online of the capital’s streets continuing to be flooded with people enjoying the weather. Other residents were clearly taking advantage of their week-long paid leave, given recently by Putin within certain industries, which was a major cause for concern. 

Embed from Getty Images

“Russia is readying itself for an explosive development like a nuclear reaction with the coronavirus pandemic. In the near future, large numbers of people will fall ill and need medical treatment,” Nikolai Malyshev, a leading infectious diseases specialist in the Russian Health Ministry, said. 

On March 25th Putin made a national address in which he enforced the closings of all non-essential businesses. He offered expanded unemployment packages for those who would lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Unlike Sibyanin, however, Putin didn’t enforce any specific nationwide policies regarding social-distancing and overall citizen movement.

Putin also offered paid leave benefits for certain companies and individuals in order to motivate them to stay home, although that wasn’t a clear requirement for receiving that compensation. Sibyanin is fighting for even more restrictive measures, and is claiming that Putin and his health officials are severely underestimating the impact of this virus. Last week, Putin refused to lockdown the capitol as a part of these measures, which is what prompted the extreme backlash from WHO. 

The total number of positive cases in Russia is very low when compared to other countries in the world, however, their policies have been some of the most progressive and strict, which could be the reason that they haven’t seen any major spikes in cases yet. However, as we know, dealing with this virus really is a waiting game, so taking these strict precautionary measures now is what will help minimize the damaging effects that we’ll likely see within the next month.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.