The mayor of Moscow has ruled out self-isolation for president Vladimir Putin, 67 while ordering people over 65 years old and those with chronic illnesses to stay at home for more than two weeks or escape to their country houses to avoid coronavirus.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin made the announcement via his website saying the elderly ‘must comply with an at-home regimen’ between March 26 and April 14 to protect them from the bug which has infected 438 people, mostly in Moscow.
The mayor, who is incharge of heading Russia’s overall coronavirus response, said: ‘You may not like it and even oppose it, but trust me, it is dictated by sincere concern for you.’
You can go to the shop or the pharmacy only when you need to,’ Sobyanin said, listing a number to call if help is needed.
‘The best thing to do, if you can, is to go to your dacha, especially since the weather promises to be warm.’
But those in the age group complying with the rules will be compensated with a total of 4,000 rubles (£43), he said.
He also advised young people to ‘avoid personal communication with older people’ to prevent infection from spreading and help their older neighbours who live alone.
The measures would not affect 67-year-old President Vladimir Putin because he ‘works where he lives’, his spokesman said, adding that the Kremlin is asking everyone involved in his meetings get tested beforehand.
On Monday, Russia confirmed 71 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s official number of cases up to 438.