Russia’s Putin orders non-working month to curb coronavirus


President Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered most Russians to stay off work until the end of the month as part of a partial economic shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking in a televised address to the nation, Putin said he was extending the non-working policy he ordered earlier for this week until the end of April. He emphasized that all employees should continue earning their regular salaries during the period.

Putin said some essential industries will keep operating, and grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

The president emphasized that Russia’s virus-prevention strategies have bought time and helped slow down the outbreak but also warned that the number of cases will continue climbing.

“The threat remains, and experts believe that the epidemic is yet to reach its peak in the world, including our country,” Putin said.

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