On Wednesday, March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a televised address to the nation in connection with the situation with the spread of the coronavirus infection in the country. Many in Russia were expecting the president to make such an address assuming that the measures that the Russian authorities currently take are not enough to prevent the development of either the Italian of the Spanish scenario of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It is regional authorities decide which restrictions to impose on their territories. Travelling between regions of Russia still remains unobstructed, there is no mandatory testing for coronavirus, etc. On March 24, Putin held a special meeting in the Kremlin, where officials explained to him that the dynamics of the development of coronavirus in Russia was high.
"We can see how fast the crisis is developing in other countries, the number of cases is growing in many countries. The virus has affected the world economy. However, the measures that have been taken so far help Russia contain the epidemic. At the same time, it's impossible to completely block the penetration of coronavirus into our country," the president said.
"I urge all citizens of the country: let's not rely on blind faith of sheer luck, as many in Russia do. Please don't think that this is not going to affect you in person, because this can affect anyone. If it happens, then everything that happens today in many Western countries, both in Europe and overseas, can become our reality tomorrow," Putin said.
"I want to address doctors, nurses, paramedics, ER services - you are in the forefront of the fight," Putin said, asking citizens to follow all recommendations from doctors.
"Our task is to ensure the health of citizens, therefore, the voting on the amendments to the Constitution will be postponed for a later date," Putin added.
"I declare the next week a non-working one," Putin said, noting that salaries should be completely preserved for all employees. "We are doing this to protect citizens and reduce the number of those who can become infected. The safest thing that we can do now is stay home."
All social benefits to citizens will be renewed automatically during the next six months, without the need for any confirmations and certifications.
Every Russian family that is entitled to maternity capital, will receive 5,000 rubles for each child up to 3 years of age in the next three months.
He appealed to the Central Bank ща the Russian Federation with a request to provide a mechanism to prolong loans for individual entrepreneurs in industries affected by the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, March 25, it became known that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection rose sharply in Russia: from 495 to 658. New cases were reported in 20 regions of Russia, with most of them in Moscow (120 and 410 in total).
Due to the increase in the number of coronavirus infected individuals in Moscow, the Moscow Mayor's Office imposes additional restrictions in the Russian capital starting from March 26:
Stores, banks and consumer services will continue working.
Dental offices will provide only emergency care services.