First, as usual, let me update you on the numbers showing coronavirus spread in Russia for today, March 29. Total number of cases registered: 1534, deaths: 9, recovered: 64 people.
Majority of the cases are in Moscow, hit by COVID-19 the worst so far. Moscow government issued a warning today, saying that COVID-19 is dangerous for all ages, including kids. There are 13 kids among the 240 new cases registered in Moscow within the last 24 hours.
The government is considering to limit travelling within the country by air or rail in order to stop coronavirus spread in Russia. Already now one can visit Moscow only for compelling reasons.
Good news that WHO expects coronavirus epidemic in Russia to go down vby the end of April. Of course, the necessary condition is to follow social distancing and quarantine rules.
In St. Petersburg the situation remains stable: there are 5 new cases within the last 24 hours. So, despite the urge to stay at home many light-minded locals decided to take advantage of the extra vacation and nice weather: a big number of families went on picnics to the Finnish Gulf shores. The smoke and flavours of BBQ and shish-kebabs enveloped the Gulf shores today. In spite of the governor’s decision, street stalls selling fruit, vegetables and smelt (seasonal fish) gathered lines of people forgetting about social distancing. To crown it all, 7 grade gridlocks showed many people heading outside the city to travel and picnic.
To deal with the dangerous light-mindedness, special quarantine patrols will be arranged at each police station. There’s no fine yet for violation of quarantine rules, but I guess it will be the next step.
Meanwhile, 2 new facilities are expected to help coping with epidemic in St. Peteresburg.
- Health resort “Zarya” in Repino was turned into an anti-epidemic centre used for quarantine.
- New Infectious Disease Centre is being constructed in Pushkin, a suburb of St. Petersburg. Those who already visited our city, know this historic town well: the Catherine Palace is located here.
One more important thing happened today: the long-awaited Patriarch’s address to Russian Orthodox believers. Previously the Russian Church had suggested the coronavirus to be fought with bell ringing and prayer. Mass services kept taking place all week long. Finally, Patriarch Cyril addressed the believers urging them to stay at home and pray in safety.
Approximately at the same time a liturgy was served in St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Although St. Isaacs Cathedral isn’t an active church, it’s a museum. The status quo supposes that one of the chapels in the cathedral works as an active church, and on big religious holidays services are conducted in the entire space of the cathedral. But as a museum, St. Isaac’s is closed according to the orders of the governor, as well as all the other St. Petersburg museums. Despite this fact, St. Petersburg Metropolitan Varsonofiy insisted on opening the cathedral for a liturgy today. About 30 believers attended it.
We’ll go on observing coronavirus spread in Russia.
Stay at home, keep safe, protect your families, and may the Force be with you 😊