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Coronavirus: Putin relaxes Russian lockdown as cases rise

Russian President Vladimir Putin declares that from Tuesday the countrywide coronavirus lock-down will be reduced and companies will return to work.

He said the country's "non-working period" levied to limit the virus had persisted for six workweeks.

The simplification of restrictions will affect all sectors of the economy, Mr Putin added, going onto say that some regions may, however, keep firmer controls if warranted

Russia now has the third-highest number of established contagions globally.

Over the last 24 hours, it reported a record daily rise of 11,656 cases, bringing the official total to 221,344.

That means Russia now has more established cases than Italy and the UK combined. Spain and the US are the only other two countries to report more cases.

According to other official figures, 2,009 people in Russia have died from the virus. But some question the low value and believe the tally is far higher.

Surprisingly the Russian leader In a rare televised address also announced an end to six weeks of countrywide restrictions, which had allowed the country to prepare its health system and save "many thousands of lives".

In other news, the Soviet leader said that"starting from tomorrow, the 12th May, the nation-wide period of non-operational days will be over for all subdivisions of the economy." However, the leader went onto say that he will keep rules now in place if required.

In other parts of the country, significant public events still remain banned, meaning that citizens must always follow the "strict sanitation demands" in place at this time. However, it is quite clear that the outbreak is far from over, and danger still remains.

The speech comes just days after the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, extended the capital's lockdown until May 31.

Steve Simmonds

Credits and sources: Reuters for cover picture and BBC.UK


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