File photo of Vladimir Putin. Photograph:( Reuters )
Putin announced a week-long break earlier on TV as the number of cases continue to dramatically increase in the country
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin approved legislation which permits the government to declare a state of national emergency to control the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading further.
As per Russian law, only the President has the power to invoke a state of emergency. This too, can be done with the support of the upper house of the Parliament.
However, starting Tuesday, the whole cabinet of ministers will have the same powers to announce an emergency.
Yesterday, Putin had announced the extension of non-working period in Russia to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Now the shutdown is expected to last until April 30.
"I've taken a decision to extend the period of non-working days until April 30," Putin said in an address broadcast on state television, adding that people will still receive their salaries.
Not one for televised appearances, Putin announced a week-long break earlier on TV as the number of cases continue to dramatically increase in the country.
After consulting with health officials, Putin enforced a longer work-free period. The country needs to be shut for longer to avert a crisis.
Even with a shutdown in place, the number of cases continue to spike in the country. Just yesterday, over 771 new infections were reported in the country. Additionally, 30 people have died so far.
"The threat remains," Putin announced.
(With inputs from agencies)