16:14 GMT28 May 2020
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    Coronavirus Puts Nations on Lockdown (264)

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the government to increase the production of personal protective equipment and disinfection products in the necessary volumes and create a reserve in the light of growing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a document published on the government's website on Friday.

    "The Russian government [was instructed] to ensure ... the increase in production of personal protective equipment and disinfection means for the needs of medical, pharmaceutical and other organisations and to ensure supplies in the required volumes, as well as the formation of a reserve of these items for state and municipal needs. [The president expects to receive] reports weekly," the document said.

    The instructions also included measures to ensure the sustainability of system- and city-forming enterprises and industries, as well as the stability and balance of regional budgets. In addition, Putin ordered the government to take measures to support small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as to minimise the pandemic's impact on citizens.

    Putin further asked that the government provide the people with timely and reliable information about the COVID-19 situation both in Russia and around the world, and launch a public awareness campaign with the help of volunteers.

    According to the latest data from the Russian coronavirus response centre, a total of 4,149 cases have been confirmed in the country so far with 34 fatalities. Data from the Johns Hopkins University show that more than 1 million people have been infected worldwide, with about 53,000 fatalities.

    With the spread of the disease across the country, Russia has moved to impose strict measures to contain the infection, including the introduction of a self-isolation regime in certain regions.

    Moscow and the Moscow region were the first to mandate that all residents self-isolate; residents may only leave their homes to obtain essentials, work or get urgent medical help.

    Several other Russian regions have subsequently introduced similar measures.

    On Thursday, the president said in a televised national address that the current non-working week for citizens would be prolonged until the end of April.

    Coronavirus Puts Nations on Lockdown (264)
    protection, equipment, production, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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