Putin Says Russia Facing Difficult Stage of Epidemic, Urges Self-Isolation Extension Until 11 May
14:53 GMT 28.04.2020(updated 18:56 GMT 28.04.2020)
The Russian president has called for enhanced self-discipline in the run-up to the May holidays in the country, which are traditionally observed on 1-2 May and 9 May, the Victory Day, so as to halt as quickly as possible the spread of the novel virus.
Addressing a meeting on the coronavirus response, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the country is entering a difficult stage of the pandemic, urging that self-isolation measures should be extended until at least 11 May.
He called for maximum self-discipline and concentration at this tumultuous time, arguing that the citizens "must work to succeed in making the epidemic outbreak finally show the downward trend, which will make it possible to gradually, step by step, ease the restrictions," he said at the gathering.
The world has faced the coronavirus pandemic for the first time, but "thanks to the work conducted by scientists and medics we now know more about it and are able to draw up more accurate predictions, as well as choose appropriate strategies and tactics," Vladimir Putin pointed out.
The president has declared the stint between the May holidays in Russia - 1 May and 9 May as official days off from work, and "employees' salaries must be preserved," Putin added.
May 6-8 would normally have been regular working days between the holidays.
"Therefore, with all May holidays taken into account the non-working period will extend through 11 May ... with strict compliance with preventive measures that were introduced in the regions," the president detailed, instructing the government to come up by 5 May with a plan to gradually ease the restrictions starting on 12 May.
Per the president, in no way should the limitations be all lifted simultaneously.
Putin has addressed citizens, assuming that some might think that nothing serious is happening, however it is not true, he argued, vehemently urging not to take the coronavirus situation easy. The number of those who have been directly affected by the virus flare-ups is on the rise, the president stressed, expressing his condolences for those who had suffered the loss of the loved ones.
"Everyone is tempted to say that it's done with the coronavirus, but get-togethers, communication should still be avoided," the president urged.
He acknowledged the importance of the economy moving forward but stressed there is no way it could be done at the expense of people's lives. The natural selection is not applicable here, Putin emphasised. Government support measures will be further updated and extended, so that "we will help businesses retain jobs," Putin said, calling out those who "egoistically" put their own freedom from corona-induced restrictions above others' safety.
"The human life is invaluable, and we will overcome the coronavirus," the Russian president added emotionally.
Russia has been pursuing strict self-isolation and quarantine measures to stave off the further COVID-19 spread since late March. According to the Russian federal consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, the authorities are following a well-established algorithm of tackling the spread of the infection by tracking infected individuals' families, and other people that they have of late communicated with in person.
The country has to date seen as many as 93,558 confirmed infection cases, including 867 deaths, according to estimates published by the Russian health ministry. Overall 3,139,258 people have so far taken a coronavirus diagnosis test.
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