Moscow police have been ordered to scout abandoned buildings, attics and basements in the capital for homeless people and runaway children who might need treatment for hypothermia, as temperatures in the city hit minus 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday, a news report said.
The head of Moscow's branch of the Interior Ministry, Anatoly Yakunin, also told police to pay "special attention" to people in the streets who appear drunk or disoriented, a police spokesperson said, Interfax reported.
Yakunin told police to call an ambulance if people trying to weather out the cold in unused spaces or abandoned buildings showed signs of hypothermia and to bring unaccompanied minors to police stations and then call their parents or the city's social services.
More than 10,000 people out of Moscow's population of about 11.5 million people are believed to be living in the streets, RIA Novosti reported earlier, citing official estimates.
The deep freeze that has gripped Moscow is expected to abate by the weekend, when temperatures are likely to rise to up to minus 7 degrees Celsius during the daytime on Saturday, the city's weather service chief expert Marina Makarova said.