RUSSIA: Workers Ordered To Stay Home Until April 30

The Associated Press reports:

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

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

Putin said exceptions for essential industries will keep operating, and grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. He said 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.

Yesterday the Russian legislature enacted a five-year prison sentence for disputing the Kremlin’s official coronavirus reports.