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Russia to Close Borders as Coronavirus Crisis Escalates

  • All borders to close on March 30 as infection rate climbs
  • Cities around country restricted movement as crisis worsens
Russian citizens queue for medical control at Kiev railway station on March 27.
Russian citizens queue for medical control at Kiev railway station on March 27.Photographer: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

Russia, the largest country by area, will temporarily shut all its borders starting March 30 after the number of coronavirus infections increased sharply over the last week. Health officials on Saturday reported 228 new cases of coronavirus overnight, bringing the total to 1,264, with four deaths attributed to the illness.

The order, posted on the government website, followed increasingly harsh restrictions of movements around the country. Moscow’s mayor shut all non-essential business on Saturday and recommended everyone remain at home to reduce contagion. The government halted all international flights on Friday and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin called on regions to close most businesses, while stopping short of ordering them to do so.