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Putin announces end of Russia’s ‘non-working’ days during the coronavirus pandemic

Source: Meduza

President Vladimir Putin has announced that the ‘non-working’ days introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will come to an end on May 12. 

Starting tomorrow, the ‘non-working’ days are cancelled for all sectors of the economy, the president said during a video address on May 11. 

However, Putin underscored that quarantine restrictions will be extended for Russian residents over the age of 65, as well as those with chronic illnesses. He also announced additional benefits to support families with children during the pandemic.

The president noted that the ‘non-working’ days, which began on March 30, have been going on for six weeks. “This extraordinary measure allowed [us] to hold off [and] to slow down the spread of the epidemic,” he said. Putin claimed that this time allowed Russia to build up stocks of necessary medical equipment and prepare for treating people with severe complications from COVID-19. 

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Russia initially introduced a period of paid ‘non-working’ days from March 30 to April 5. President Putin later extended them until April 30, and then again until May 11

On May 8, Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, recommended that the country begin to phase out quarantine restrictions. 

On the morning of May 11, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 11,656 new coronavirus infections in the past day (up 5.5 percent from the day before) bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 221,344 patients. Another 94 people reportedly died from the disease, raising Russia’s total official number of fatalities caused by COVID-19 to 2,009. As many as 39,801 people in Russia are known to have recovered fully, including 5,495 in the past day.