Putin lifting Russia’s stay-at-home record despite record number of new infections
Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced an end to the country’s nationwide stay-at-home order, allowing workers at nonessential businesses to return to work even as the country continues to report around 10,000 new cases of coronavirus per day.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that Putin announced during a meeting with top officials that the country’s “non-working” period extending over all sectors of the economy save for essential businesses such as grocery stores would end Tuesday.
“Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy,” the Russian president reportedly said.
His declaration comes as Russia remains a hot spot for the coronavirus and the U.S. has offered to send medical aid including ventilators to the country as it struggles to slow the rate of new infections.
Putin’s government has been accused by some of covering up the scope of the country’s total coronavirus outbreak, which officially sits at more than 220,000 confirmed cases and just over 2,000 deaths. A leading doctor, Anastasia Vasilieva, was detained in April after making such an assertion.
“The epidemic and associated restrictions have had a strong impact on the economy and hurt millions of our citizens,” Putin reportedly added during Monday’s meeting. “It is in the interest of all of us for the economy to return to normal quickly.”
Putin’s approval ratings have toppled to historic lows amid the outbreak, while at least three Cabinet officials have tested positive for the virus in recent days.
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