The Chinese coronavirus pandemic continues to cause havoc in the Russian capital of Moscow with over 6,000 new cases a day being registered, and deaths rising. Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended the nationwide ‘vacation period’ until May 11th, and wants plans to slowly reopen the economy after that.
“The daily number of new cases of the disease has relatively stabilized. But this should not ‘soothe’ us since the situation remains very tense. Specialists and scientists say that the peak has not passed yet,” the Russian president stressed in a video to the nation reported Russian state news agency TASS.
The risks of catching infection of the novel coronavirus in Russia are ‘reaching their climax,’ he elaborated. “We are now probably faced with the most rigorous stage of the fight against this epidemiology,” Putin went on. “Risks of catching the infection are reaching their climax. The danger and the lethal threat of the virus persist and it goes for everyone.”
“The most important issue that I would like to point out summing up the results of the recent weeks is that we have managed to slow down the spread of the epidemic,” Putin said. “This is the result of our common work, the responsibility of millions of citizens of our country, who have followed recommendations of doctors and experts, taking care of their own health and of the health of others.”
“I believe it will be correct to declare these three days as non-working ones. Normal wages are to be preserved. The period of off-work days will last till May 11 inclusively. Let me draw your attention to the fact that the strict preventive measures adopted in regions must be enforced,” Putin said.
In view of this, the president has instructed Russian officials to prepare step-by-step plans on lifting the restrictive measures introduced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus starting May 12. These plans must be ready by May 5, added TASS.
“I instruct the government and the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare to prepare recommendations in tandem with the working group of the State Council, that is, criteria and parameters for step-by-step lifting of the restrictive measures starting May 12. This must be done within a week, that is, by May 5,” Putin stated.
The international rating agency Moody’s expects that Russia’s national GDP will decline by 5.5% in 2020 but will grow by 2.2% in 2021, the agency said on Tuesday.
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