31 Dec 2019 – WHO is informed of an outbreak of “pneumonia of unknown cause” (later dubbed COVID-19) in Wuhan, China.
31 Jan 2020 – Two cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Russia, in Tyumen and Chita. They are both Chinese visitors to Russia. Both patients have recovered by 12 February and are discharged from hospital; there are no new cases of COVID-19 after this.
20 Feb 2020 – Russia closes its border with China.
28 Feb 2020 – Eight Russian citizens who were evacuated from the cruise ship Diamond Princess are confirmed to be suffering from COVID-19. They are hospitalised in Kazan.
2 Mar 2020 – First “local” Russian COVID-19 case is detected in Moscow (a Russian who recently returned from Italy).
16 Mar 2020 – Schools are ordered to be closed.
19 Mar 2020 – All persons arriving in Russia from abroad required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
20 Mar 2020 – The total number of infections reaches 253 but there is only 1 death so far.
24 Mar 2020 – All nightclubs, cinemas and gyms are ordered to be closed.
25 Mar 2020 – The total number of infections doubles over a 5-day period. President Putin announces a one-week “paid holiday” (effectively, a soft lockdown) and the suspension of the referendum on proposed amendments to the Russian constitution.
27 Mar 2020 – All inbound flights to Russia are suspended, other than evacuation flights for Russian citizens abroad. Total number of infections exceeds 1,000.
29 Mar 2020 – Moscow mayor issues a “stay-at-home” order for all residents, effective from 30 March. Exceptions are: (1) to go to the nearest shop to buy food; (2) to go to the nearest chemists/pharmacy to purchase medicines; (3) to take out the rubbish; and (4) to walk pets (provided this is within 100 metres of the person’s residence);
2 Apr 2020 – “Paid holiday” period is extended to 30 April.
7 Apr 2020 – Number of new infections over a 24-hour period exceeds 1,000 for the first time; total number of infections is 7,497 with a total of 58 deaths.
9 Apr 2020 – Total number infections exceeds 10,000, with a total of 76 deaths.
14 Apr 2020 – Total number infections exceeds 20,000. Total number of deaths more than doubles in less than a week, to 170.
15 Apr 2020 – System of electronic permits comes into force. Any Moscow resident wishing to move around by car, taxi or public transport must now obtain an electronic permit to do so. [For a cartoonist’s take on what happened, read here …]
16 Apr 2020 – Victory Day parade (traditionally held on 9 May) is postponed to an unspecified future date. [Preparations for the parade resulted in 15,000 soldiers being sent into quarantine: read here …]
28 April 2020 – The lockdown is extended to 11 May 2020. Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service for Consumer Protection and Human Wellbeing) is instructed to produce a strategy by 5 May 2020, for easing the lockdown.
29 April 2020 – Russia extends its border closure for an indefinite period.
30 April 2020 – Overall number of infections exceeds 100,000 (surpassing the number of infections reported by China). Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin discloses that he has tested positive for coronavirus, begins self-isolation.
1 May 2020 – Minister of Construction and Housing Vladimir Yakushev discloses that he has also tested positive for coronavirus.