Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin’s administration, tightens curbs
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin’s administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia.
The official tally of confirmed cases jumped by a record daily amount for the third day in a row, bringing Russia’s total to 1,036. Four people have died of the coronavirus.
The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.
Putin has declared next week a non-working week, and Moscow, the vast country’s worst-affected area, will this weekend close all cafes, restaurants and shops apart from those selling food and medicine, until April 5. International flights have been suspended.
On Friday, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said measures in place in Moscow to halt the spread of the virus should be imposed across the country and urged Russians to stay at home and refrain from all but essential trips.
“Maybe on these days you were planning to visit a shopping center, pop into a cafe, go to a health resort, but it is important to understand that coronavirus comes from these trips, you get infected in crowded places,” he said.
Mishustin also ordered the country’s huge network of state-run hotels, resorts and recreational facilities to shut down from March 28 until June 1.
Russia’s mass domestic tourism and recreation sector is still dominated by the state, a legacy from Soviet times. Millions of Russians still holiday each year at state-run hotels, resorts, health spas and children’s camps.