As of Thursday, April 30, the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Russia has reached 106,498 following the highest daily rise of new infections. The Health Ministry confirmed that the death toll increased by 101 over a 24-hour period, bringing the total number of deaths to 1073. The most affected area remains Moscow (53,739) with approximately half of the country's cases recorded in the city.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced on Wednesday, April 29, that the current ban on the entry of foreign nationals has been extended until further notice. Exceptions will be made for foreign national specialists in critical industries.
A nationwide paid holiday is set to end on Friday, May 1, while nonessential businesses across the country have been ordered to close. In Moscow, residents are required to obtain a digital travel permit to leave their homes for work or other essential trips. The permits consist of a unique code, obtained by email or print, and allows residents to travel to their approved destinations. Hospitals, emergency services, medical services, banks, pharmacies, and food stores will remain open. All restaurants and cafes will be closed with the exception of delivery services.
Russia's land and maritime borders remain closed to all vehicle, rail, and pedestrian checkpoints; Russian diplomats and freight truck drivers are exempt from the measures. All flights except for repatriation flights are suspended, and all individuals arriving in Russia from abroad are subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Russian Railways and its subsidiary, Federal Passenger Company, have reduced or suspended domestic services until late May.
Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
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