MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russia’s famous footballer Igor Akinfeev, who is a former goalkeeper of the national team and currently goaltends for CSKA Moscow football club, said on Thursday it was extremely important to follow guidelines of the country’s authorities under the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus and to abide by the recommendations of self-isolation.
“Even weather forecasters cannot give exact predications,” the press service of CSKA Moscow FC quoted the club’s captain as saying. Asked when the pandemic was likely to be over, Akinfeev said: “I believe that we must continue waiting and do what we are recommended to do, because the quarantine is the necessary measure to prevent the spread of the infection. I believe that the self-isolation is a very important matter.”
“The most important thing is for people to understand that this measure is really indispensable,” he continued. “I have watched videos from parks, where people went on barbeque picnics [amid the self-isolation], and it is a bit scary. There were several thousands of them, but they are capable of spreading the infection on hundreds of thousands.”
Akinfeev also said he believed that the Russian football championship was unlikely to be resumed in the foreseeable future.
The Russian Premier League’s (RPL) season was initially suspended from March 17 until April 10 due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus. The league’s clubs completed 22 out of 30 scheduled rounds of the championship. On April 1, the Executive Committee of the Russian Football Union (RFU) extended the postponement of all football matches in Russia, including RPL matches, until May 31.
“We should certainly not expect the resumption of the Russian championship in the foreseeable future,” he said. “Everybody knows that we are on vacations until May 1, but we realize that this is not the limit and the situation will continue developing at least until the summer, when the temperatures will be warmer and it will be clear how this infection behaves and what it does during the warm period of the year.”
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,090,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 136,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 523,700 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 27,938 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 2,304 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 232 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.