Putin's second address to the nation on coronavirus pandemic
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his second address to the nation on the coronavirus situation in the last eight days. The head of state’s speech is broadcast by Russian television.
The president declared that paid non-working days in Russia would be prolonged until April 30.
"We have not passed the peak of the epidemic in the world and in our country yet. Due to this, I have decided to prolong the non-working days until the end of the month, that is, until April 30." He stressed that workers would still be paid during the days-off.
Public agencies, pharmacies, groceries, essential good shops will continue working during the days-off, the president informed.
Vladimir Putin has thanked all those who observe coronavirus prevention recommendations, in particular medics. "I am certain that all citizens will join their voices to the deepest thanks to our medical workers," Putin stated in his televised message.
"I would like to sincerely thank all of you without an exception and to say ‘thank you’ to the volunteers and all people who have not stayed indifferent and realized their personal responsibility for the struggle against the epidemic and strictly follow the recommendations of the authorities and medical specialists, caring about their own health as well as that of their relatives and dear ones and the security of all those around," Putin said.
According to the president, Russian authorities managed to win time for preventive measures against the coronavirus. "The days-off declared nationwide, and also self-isolation envisaged for residents of many regions allowed us to win time for preventive measures, mobilize all the bodies of power and build up resources of the health care system in order to fight the epidemic maximally efficiently, banking both on our own experience and the best practices of other countries," Putin stressed.
Russia is managing to shield elderly people against the coronavirus and prevent the infection’s spread in educational institutions, the Russian leader said.
"I consider it principally important that we are generally managing so far to shield people of older generations against the serious threat and to prevent an outbreak of the epidemic in kindergartens, schools, higher education institutions and other educational establishments," Putin said.
Developments in Moscow
Despite all efforts, the authorities cannot turn the tide on the coronavirus situation in Moscow, Vladimir Putin lamented.
"We have a big, very big country, with different population density. There are regions, where the coronavirus has already posed serious threat for the people, such as in Moscow, where, despite all efforts taken, the authorities still cannot turn the tide," Putin said.
The president noted that the situation in different regions and even separate municipalities develops differently, adding that there are still regions where no coronavirus cases were registered.
This is why, according to the president, "some places must comply with tighter restrictions, while others, while maintaining the heightened readiness state, can do with local decisions." The president urged to take the local situation into account.
Shortening of non-working period
The Russian president does not rule out that the non-working period might be shortened, should the coronavirus situation change for the better.
"Considering the developments, we will make further decisions. If the situation allows, we will adjust the announced non-working period towards its reduction," the president said in his Thursday address.
He underscored that the main criteria when making these decisions is "safety, health and protection of the people of Russia."
According to the Russian leader, "it is critically important to ensure cooperation between various levels of government: federal, regional and municipal."
He added that he ordered his plenipotentiary representatives in the federal districts to closely coordinate work of the regions.
"All information must go to the governmental coronavirus coordination council, where it will be processed, analyzed and used during decision-making. And of course, all actions of the regional authorities must be strictly coordinated with the sanitary-epidemiological services," the president said.
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, more than 938,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 47,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 195,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
So far, a total of 3,548 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 235 patients having recovered from the virus. The country’s latest data indicates 30 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.