Officials said they had identified 771 new cases of coronavirus in the past day, a 28% from the previous day that brings the country’s total number of infected to 3,548. Nearly 600 of the new cases were in Moscow, which has been the Russian city hit hardest by the crisis, with 2,475 confirmed cases. So far, 30 people have died due to the virus, official statistics report.
Putin has also signed into law tougher sentences for violating medical quarantines required for coronavirus patients and others required to self-isolate, and also for spreading false information about coronavirus and ways to prevent its spread. The toughest measures would give violators of quarantines up to seven years in prison, if their actions lead to the deaths of two people or more.
The numbers indicate that the disease is still on the rise in Russia and reflect the country’s increased testing capacity, which this week began to announce strict shelter-in-place measures. Moscow has told its population of 12 million to stay at home unless they are seeking medical help, going to the store or pharmacy, or walking a pet. Vladimir Putin, who shook hands last week with a doctor who later tested positive for coronavirus, is holding his meetings by teleconference, according to a Kremlin spokesman.
Russia yesterday said it had delivered a planeload of medical supplies, including masks and ventilators, to the United States to help fight coronavirus there. US officials however said that the equipment had been purchased. Russia in early March banned the export of masks because of a lack of medical supplies in the country. Most pharmacies in Moscow do not have masks for sale.