President Vladmir Putin has declared a week-long paid national holiday from March 30 — the purpose of which, he said, was to encourage Russians to remain at home in an effort to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“Don’t think: ‘This can’t happen to me.’ It can happen to anyone,” Putin said. “The most important thing is to stay home.”
But Putin, to the shock of many observers, did not enforce additional measures that would ensure that Russians remain at home — a step that epidemiologists argue is essential for limiting person-to-person transmission of the highly contagious virus.
“People need to be separated at the very least — and I will underscore that this is at the very least — for two weeks,” Vasily Vlasov, an epidemiologist at the Higher School of Economics, told The Moscow Times. “And to ensure that this happens, measures need to be put in place that will actually keep them at home.”