Russia Bans International Flights From Friday Midnight Over Coronavirus

Clay Curtis
March 27, 2020

Vladimir Putin has delayed a public vote on constitutional amendments that could allow him to stay in power until 2036 due to the coronavirus outbreak in Russian Federation.

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (March 26) he hoped Russian Federation would defeat the coronavirus in two to three months if it imposed tough measures, as authorities suspended worldwide flights, ordered most shops in the capital to shut and halted some church services. The vote does not have any legal impact and the constitutional amendments have already been accepted into law.

Russian Federation enacted a series of comprehensive measures to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in recent weeks, instituting travel restrictions, quarantine for infected individuals, and efforts to make an effective vaccine available following testing. He asked people to stay at home, but he stopped short of issuing a mandatory quarantine or state of emergency.

He announced a nationwide week-long holiday to run from Saturday, 28 March, until 5 April.

He said G20 countries need a common plan of action to stabilize the situation, support economies and restore confidence in world markets.

The city of Moscow, which appears to be taking the coronavirus threat more seriously than the federal government, this week ordered restaurants and cafés to shut down and banned gatherings of more than 50 people.

On Tuesday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told Putin that the low number of cases in Russian Federation could reflect insufficient screening rather than the actual scale of the epidemic and said the situation was "serious". "It can happen to anyone".

Coronavirus claims over 8000 lives in Italy with 80539 cumulative cases
The overall number of people to have been infected in Italy , including the deceased and people who have recovered, is 74,386. That compared with 4,474 deaths and 32,346 cases reported up to Wednesday.

Under the current law, Putin wouldn't be able to run for president again in 2024 because of term limits.

The 67-year-old has been in power since 2000, longer than any other of the country's rulers since the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. But the measures imposed by Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin take the president's measures a step further.

The Russian economy was also under serious pressure because of the virus, Mr Putin said.

The public warning signalled a pivot in the Kremlin's approach to the disease.

Donning a yellow hazmat suit and respirator, he praised doctors treating coronavirus patients there. But things have changed in the past 48 hours, particularly after the number of cases in the country spiked by a third Wednesday, from 495 to 658. Putin did not mention how much his new measures would cost the budget, which is expected to see a 3 trillion rouble shortfall this year from the weak commodity prices only. So far, Russian Federation has recorded just one COVID-19 death.

The foundations of Alibaba and Ma said on Wednesday they had sent medical equipment to Russian Federation.

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