There is currently no need to impose lockdown in Moscow and other Russian cities due to the coronavirus, the World Health Organization's representative in Russia Melita Vujnovic told the Future of Russia. National Projects web portal operated by TASS.
"If Moscow and the entire Russia prove to be capable of self-discipline, it would be much easer to get through this period, when the virus threatens us all regardless of lockdowns. However, if the need arises, I am sure that this step will be taken, but I don’t think it is necessary at the moment. I completely trust the national authorities and the Moscow authorities who… have the figures, which is important," she said in response to a question.
According to Vujnovic, there are successful examples of ensuring social distancing without imposing lockdown. "For instance, there is no lockdown in Singapore as self-isolation and efforts to trace the contacts of those infected turned out to be enough. Besides, there is Japan and others," the WHO official pointed out.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 150 countries, including Russia.
The WHO on March 11 declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. As of now, over 457,000 people have been infected around the world and about 21,000 have died.
Russia has identified 840 coronavirus cases so far, 38 patients have recovered and two have died. The Russian government has set up an Internet hotline to keep the country’s people informed about the coronavirus situation.