In an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus, Russia has closed its borders as of today, while the capital Moscow has ordered its 12 million residents to stay home.
They will only be allowed to go out to buy food or medicine at the nearest shops, for work, medical treatment or other urgent needs.
“Gradually, but steadily, we will continue to tighten control, as is necessary in this situation,” Moscow President Sergei Sobyanin said.
According to Russian authorities, border closures will not apply to Russian diplomats or freight drivers.
The number of people infected with coronavirus in Russia has exceeded 1,500, while eight patients have died. The most affected city is Moscow, with over 1,000 infected.
Russian health officials have warned that a sharp increase in the number of cases in the country is expected in the coming days, due to expanded testing in Moscow.
Authorities in Moscow have also closed major malls, restaurants and parks from March 28 for at least a week.