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Putin prolongs nationwide paid leave and partial lockdown until May 11 as daily Covid-19 infections surge

Putin prolongs nationwide paid leave and partial lockdown until May 11 as daily Covid-19 infections surge
Russians will have to self-isolate until May 11, President Vladimir Putin has said, as the country braces itself for the peak of the Covid-19 epidemic, which has infected over 95,000 people nationwide.

The move, which Putin announced during a closely watched address, comes as the previous April 30 deadline was set to expire. That date was set on April 2, and involved a combination of partial lockdowns and paid holidays for all Russians working in non-essential roles.

The gradual removal of the coronavirus lockdown measures will begin from May 12, Putin said, giving the government a week to come up with recommendations on how to make it work.

Russia was able to slow the spread of Covid-19, but the situation remains difficult as the peak of the epidemic has not yet passed, Putin pointed out. 

“The instantaneous removal of the coronavirus restrictions is off the agenda,” he said, as the country is on the verge of “possibly the most challenging stage in the battle with the epidemic.” 

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The president also ordered ministers to prepare a package of urgent measures to support the economy and citizens amid the crisis.

The number confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Russia reached 93,558 on Tuesday, with the majority of those infected being in Moscow. Since the first coronavirus-related death was reported in mid-March, 867 people have succumbed to the disease – but more than 8,400 have been able to successfully recover.

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