The government of Karelia, the federal subject that makes up Russia’s northwest corner, has ordered a stop to all public transport due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Artur Parfenchikov announced the shutdown in a video message to the republic’s population. From March 29 through April 4, only taxis will be available in Karelia, the governor said, emphasizing that this is an unprecedented measure.
Meanwhile, in the Northern Caucasian republic of Chechnya, the Grozny airport announced that it would only allow incoming passengers who are Russian citizens and have permission to reside in the republic. Only one flight to and from Moscow is currently operating out of Grozny. Airport officials told Interfax they are asking anyone who is not registered to stay in Chechnya not to buy tickets or to return any that have already been purchased.
As of March 27, there were 1,036 confirmed COVID-19 patients in Russia, with 703 of them located in Moscow. There are confirmed infections in 57 regions of the country, and journalists have reported a severe lack of comprehensive testing.