The Russian opposition believes that President Vladimir Putin did not propose anything special to fight the coronavirus in his speech yesterday to the cameras and dismiss his measures as “insufficient”. Putin announced yesterday the indefinite postponement of the popular vote that will allow him to continue in power for two more terms, ordered several measures to alleviate the economic situation of the population and companies and declared non-working all next week without loss of salary.
However, the lawyer and anti-corruption activist, Alexéi Navalni, the main opposition leader, in addition to estimating “insufficient” the steps taken by the Russian top leader, believes that “declaring a non-working week without mandatory confinement is a mistake.” In his opinion, “people are going to take the week off … they will go for a walk and go to their dachas (country houses). But first, they will fill the shopping malls to stock up. ” “The effect will be the opposite of what is needed,” thinks Navalni.
For his part, the leader of the liberal Yábloko party in the city of Pskov, northwest Russia, Lev Shlósberg, assures that «Putin said practically nothing about how to stop the coronavirus epidemic … he did not announce an increase in public spending in new hospitals, apart from the one already being built in Moscow, neither for the acquisition of respirators nor for the increase of the means and equipment of the health personnel, who work exposed to the infection ”.
The ex-presidential adviser, Andréi Illariónov, affirms that the head of the Kremlin “expressed that what worries him most is his constitutional vote to remain in power.” “He did not speak of the danger looming over the population or the number of COVID-19 cases in Russia, nor about the thousands of victims of the pandemic worldwide,” Illarionov writes in his latest article.
Visit to a hospital
Another reason for criticism against the head of state on social networks is the fact that the patient he visited on Tuesday at the Moscow hospital in Kommunarka, wearing a bulky orange diving suit similar to that of a diver, has negative in the coronavirus test.
The latest data on the spread of the epidemic in Russia show 182 new cases (136 in Moscow), bringing the total across Russia to 840 infected and in the Russian capital to 546. The only two deaths were reported yesterday. In addition, 138,000 people suspected of being infected are being watched across Russia.
The Moscow City Hall has ordered that, in addition to museums, theaters and concert halls, whose activity has already ceased last week, large shopping malls, stores, except food stores, and restaurants, should also be closed between March 28 and on April 5. Churches will remain open, but it is advisable to avoid going to religious services. Today the recommendation to stay at home until April 14 for people over 65 and those with chronic diseases comes into force in the Russian capital, since, being more vulnerable, intensive care units could collapse.
In addition, according to an order of the Russian Government issued yesterday, all international flights are suspended from the next midnight. They will only be able to operate charter flights to repatriate Russian citizens still trapped in different parts of the planet. Until today, the only authorized flights have been carried out by the Russian state company Aeroflot exclusively from Moscow to capitals of different countries. Today Putin will participate in the G20 online summit convened by Saudi Arabia to discuss the world situation of COVID-19, possible measures to stop it and its impact on the global economy.