Russia to begin easing Covid-19 lockdown today 0

President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would start gradually easing coronavirus-related lockdown measures from Tuesday, but that individual regions would need to tailor their approach to varying local conditions.

“Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy,” Putin said.

The president’s announcement comes after Russia registered a record number of daily cases Monday, with more than 11,000 people testing positive over the last 24 hours.

Health officials have recorded a total of 221,344 coronavirus infections and 2009 deaths.

Putin said that Russia had used the self-isolation period to prepare its healthcare system, increasing the amount of hospital beds and saving “many thousands of lives.”

This “allows us to begin a gradual lifting of restrictions”, he said.

“It is in the interest of all of us for the economy to return to normal quickly.”

Construction, agriculture and energy should be restarted first, he added.

“The epidemic and associated restrictions have had a strong impact on the economy and hurt millions of our citizens,” he said.

As people begin going back to work, mass events are still suspended and “strict sanitation demands” must be observed, Putin said.

He added that Russia’s regions will be able to keep in place any necessary anti-virus measures.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)