President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday there were no plans to introduce a nationwide lockdown in Russia as the country set a record for new coronavirus infections and fatalities.
“We clearly understand how to act and therefore we are not planning to introduce sweeping restrictive measures, to launch a so-called nationwide lockdown, when the economy and business operations practically stop,” he told an investment forum.
Earlier Thursday, the government announced an aid package worth 11 billion roubles ($138.6 million) for the country’s regions which have been overwhelmed by a rapid increase in cases.
The support was announced amid reports of ambulance queues at hospitals, shortages of medical supplies and patients bringing their own beds to hospital.
At a meeting with Putin on Wednesday, deputy prime minister Tatyana Golikova described the situation in 16 regions as “critical,” saying that over 90 percent of hospital beds for coronavirus patients were occupied.
Russia on Thursday set a record for new coronavirus cases and deaths, with health officials reporting 17,717 new infections and 366 fatalities.
Russia has the fourth-highest caseload in the world, with a total of 1,581,693 recorded cases and 27,301 deaths.