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.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia remains much lower than in many European countries, but the mayor of Moscow told Putin on Tuesday that the real scale of the problem in the capital far exceeded official figures.
An opinion poll by the Moscow-based Levada Centre showed the majority of Russians, some 59 percent, do not believe the official figures. Twenty-four percent said they “absolutely” did not believe them and 35 percent said they only partially believed them, the poll showed. Vladimir Putin has said he hopes Russia would defeat coronavirus in two to three months if it imposed tough measures quickly.