28 April 2020
Vladimir Putin extends Russia's lockdown to May 11

Vladimir Putin extends Russia's lockdown to May 11

Alexei Druzhinin / TASS

In his fifth nationally televised coronavirus address, Russian President Vladimir Putin prolonged the country's lockdown until May 11.

Putin announced that the country's "paid non-working period" would be prolonged to include the 6th, 7th, and 8th of May.

Talks of removing restrictions nationwide are premature, Putin said, as the country is "facing the most intense stage in its fight against the epidemic".

Putin also ordered officials to draw up a plan for the lifting of restrictions on May 12 by next week, along with a series of new measures to help businesses and citizens.

Russia will now also recognize a new annual state holiday - Ambulance Workers' Day on the 28th of April.

On Tuesday morning, Russian authorities reported 6,411 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the country's infections total to 93,558. Russia's coronavirus count now exceeds that of Iran (91,472), making it the world's eighth country most affected by COVID-19.

Moscow remains the country's most-affected area with 48,426 cases. Russia's regions may see a spike in coronavirus infections in the coming weeks, according to Deputy PM Tatiana Golikova.

Vladimir Putin has given several speeches amid the pandemic. His March 25 address declared March 28 to April 5 a "non-working week" - a message that many Russians interpreted as an extra holiday as opposed to a stay-at-home order. Putin's second address on April 2 extended the "non-working period" to April 30.

The Russian President's third coronavirus speech on April 8 promised medical workers working with COVID-19 patients additional bonuses of up to 80,000 roubles ($1,080), tax breaks for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and extra benefits for the unemployed.

Putin pledged 200 billion roubles ($2.7 billion) in additional financial support for Russia's regions in his fourth coronavirus address on April 15. SMEs were promised 12,130 roubles ($160) per month for every employee retained in April and May.