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Russia Eases Restrictions As Coronavirus Cases Continue To Rise

In a televised address to the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that the country will begin easing its national "non-working period" on Tuesday, according to a report from The Moscow Times.

This announcement comes despite a rising number of coronavirus cases — according to Johns Hopkins University, Russia has had more than 221,000 cases and seen just over 2,000 deaths. The country now has more confirmed cases than Italy, which has been racked by the disease.

"But the fight with the epidemic isn't ending, its threat remains even in territories where the situation is relatively safe," Putin said, according to The Moscow Times.

Putin said in the address that while this means the end of the nonworking period for the whole country and all sectors of its economy, regional governments still have the authority to extend lockdowns and restrictions.

Moscow, for its part, extended its lockdown through May 31, according to The Moscow Times. Starting Tuesday, city residents will be required to wear a mask and gloves.

Putin said that large gatherings are still suspended and that "strict sanitation demands" must be observed nationwide.

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Austin Horn is a 2019-2020 Kroc Fellow. He joined NPR after internships at the San Antonio Express-News and Frankfort State-Journal, as well as a couple stints in the service industry. He aims to keep his reporting grounded in the experience of real individuals of all stripes.