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Dog in empty park

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 …]

Metro queue 15 Apr 2020
The morning the new system of electronic passes went into effect, long lines formed at metro stations as police verified the passes (which, as indignant citizens pointed out on social media, did not help social distancing) (photo by ColonelCassad for LiveJournal)

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.