Anyone Who Breaks Coronavirus Quarantine Should be Executed, Says Chechnya President

The president of Russia's republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said that those who break the coronavirus quarantine and infect others should be "killed," according to local reports.

Referring to one Chechen resident who had returned and had flouted quarantine rules, Kadyrov said, "If you ask me, anyone who creates this problem for himself should be killed. Not only does he get sick, [but so do] his family, his sisters, brothers, neighbors," the news outlet Caucasian Knot reported..

During a Chechen government meeting, health minister Elkhan Suleymanov, described how three people had returned to the Caucasus republic from Turkey and Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and had displayed symptoms of the disease.

In Russia, there has been a moratorium on the death penalty since 1999 and no one has been officially executed there since 1996, according to the International Federation for Human Rights. Groups such as Human Rights Watch have criticized the strongman leader for presiding over human rights abuses and persecution in his republic.

Ramzan Kadyrov
Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov attends a reception marking National Unity Day on November 4, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. He has said that anyone who breaks coronavirus quarantine and infects others should be punished by death. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

With a high-alert mode in place across Chechnya, Kadyrov urged people to take the threat of infection more seriously, saying they should "not move around," because if "one thousand people have to come into a hospital in one day, we can't do anything."

Only a few weeks ago, Kadyrov dismissed concerns about the coronavirus, simply telling people to strengthen their immune systems by drinking water with lemon and honey and eating garlic, BBC Russian reported.

The COVID-19 death toll across Russia has grown rapidly, with 658 reported cases as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University, an increase of almost a third in 24 hours.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said the disease had hit 55 regions of Russia, that 29 people have recovered and 112,000 people are in self-isolation, Radio Free Europe reported.

To limit the spread of the disease, the Russian Orthodox Church has asked its priests to disinfect icons and using disposable spoons for communion wine, Radio Free Europe reported.

However there are concerns that the true number may be higher, with the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin telling President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that the growth rate of the disease is "high and that a serious situation is developing."

Sobyanin said that many people with the virus may be at home and had not been tested, impacting on official numbers. The mayor said, according to a transcript on the Kremlin website that "in reality the number who are really sick is significantly higher."

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing. Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
    Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.