COVID-19: President Putin likely to work remotely for at least another week

Kremlin Spokesman calls for getting prepared for global economic crisis

Says extension of week off will have major impact on Russian economy

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to continue working remotely for at least one more week, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with "Moscow. Kremlin. Putin" TV program on Rossiya-1 TV channel.

"A week has passed and I dare suggest that for at least a week or even more [the president will be working remotely]," Peskov said.

Meanwhile, Peskov emphasized that the president’s decision to switch to remote work was not linked to the news that the head doctor of a hospital in Kommunarka, Denis Protsenko, had contracted the virus. Putin met with Protsenko on March 24 when he visited the Moscow clinic specializing in treating the coronavirus. "The case when the head doctor contracted the disease just showed that despite all precaution measures the best and the most effective means is to limit physical contact and this is what the president has done," Peskov explained.

The Kremlin spokesman noted that the president and everyone working with him are regularly tested for the coronavirus.

According to the  Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, coordination of anti-crisis measures by many states will be needed to overcome an economic crisis provoked by the coronavirus pandemic among other causes that will be felt further on.

"We are fully aware that the global crisis that has been provoked by, among other causes, by the coronavirus, will be felt further on. And we should get prepared for this crisis. And, naturally, coordination of actions, of anti-crisis measures of many states will be needed," he said in an interview on Sunday.

"A lot of work is to be done," he added.

Peskov said the decision to extend the national week off in Russia has caused a dispute since this will have a serious impact on the country’s economy.

"This is really so. And indeed, this is an emergency and huge impact for economic life, and this is a negative impact," Peskov said, answering a question whether there had been a dispute on extending the week-long public holiday.

"But in any case the life and health of people is a priority for us," Peskov said.

In his new address to the nation on April 2, Russian President Vladimir Putin extended the non-working week in the country over the coronavirus until the end of the month of April. He added, however, that the measures could be lifted earlier if the coronavirus situation improved. 

According to Russian leader, the epidemic has not yet reached its peak in the world, including Russia.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, more than 1,100,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 60,000 deaths have been reported.

Over the past day, the number of coronavirus cases in Russia has risen by 658 to 5,389 in 79 regions, according to the crisis center. The country’s latest data indicates 45 fatalities and 355 recoveries nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.


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