Coronavirus: Russia to end economic shutdown

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation via video conference on May 11, 2020. (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared an end to a nationwide partial economic shutdown but noted that some restrictions will remain.

Putin, speaking in a televised address to the nation Monday, said that it will be up to regional governors in the far-flung Russian Federation to determine what industrial plants could reopen starting Tuesday. He emphasized that it’s essential to preserve jobs and keep the economy running provided that workers strictly observe sanitary norms.

Putin ordered the economic shutdown in late March, although key industrial plants and some other sectors have been allowed to continue operating. Most Russians have been ordered to stay home, except for visits to nearby stores, pharmacies and visits to doctors.

Moscow will allow all of its industrial plants and construction sites to resume work starting Tuesday, and Putin said other regions may follow the example. Non-food stores, hairdressers, car dealers and most other enterprises in the services sector remain shut.

A medical worker sprays disinfectant at his ambulance in St. Petersburg, Russia on May 4, 2020. (AP)

A medical worker sprays disinfectant at his ambulance in St. Petersburg, Russia on May 4, 2020. (AP)

Putin emphasized that the restrictions must be lifted gradually to avoid triggering a new wave of contagion.

A new surge in coronavirus cases took Russia's tally past those in Italy and Britain on Monday.

The number of new cases of the novel coronavirus rose by a record daily amount to 11,656 in the previous 24 hours, making the official tally 221,344. Only Spain and the United States have recorded more cases than the world's biggest country.

More than half of all cases and deaths are in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia's outbreak. The Russian capital on Monday reported an overnight increase of 6,169 new cases, bringing its official total to 115,909.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:07 - GMT 11:07
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