MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. As many as 80 out of 85 Russian regions have declared a state of high alert over the coronavirus, as can be seen from official statements.
Three federal cities — Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sevastopol — have declared a state of high alert, as well as all regions in the Far East, Siberia, the Urals, the Volga River basin, the country’s south and northwest. The Oryol and Tver regions in central Russia, and three out of seven regions in North Caucasus (the Ingushetia and Karachay-Circassian regions and Chechnya) have not yet declared the regime.
A state of high alert means that all public events will be postponed and the number of people participating in authorized events will be reduced. In addition, people are recommended to refrain from traveling abroad, while employers are obliged to keep personnel with symptoms of infectious disease from coming to work. Schools and universities have moved to remote learning.
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 170 countries, including Russia.
On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 210,000 people have been infected around the world and about 8,500 have died. Russia has identified 147 cases as yet. The Russian government has launched an Internet hotline to keep the country’s people informed about the coronavirus situation.