Russian factories allowed to reopen despite surge in coronavirus

World Grigory Matyunin 12-May-2020
Coronavirus en Russie, téléphone portable avec indications préventives
Coronavirus en Russie, téléphone portable avec indications préventives © Olgavolodina | Dreamstime.com

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday that, following six weeks  of lockdown, nationwide restrictions would gradually be lifted and some businesses would be permitted to reopen as normal. The statement came as Russia overtook Spain as the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe and the second highest in the world.

Some autonomy was given to regional authorities to relax or tighten restrictions, however, some economic sectors were asked to return to work from today. Employees of construction sites and heavy industry returned to work this morning.

The total number of cases stands at 232,243 nationwide, second only to the United States. The death rate is comparatively low, currently standing at 2,116.

Data submitted by Yandex, a Russian internet firm, indicates that people interpreted the change as a total abandonment of remaining restrictions and left their homes on Tuesday morning.

The lockdown has resulted in a high level of unemployment which rose to 1.4 million. New support measures for businesses and disadvantaged families were announced by the President.