Putin extends Russia’s lockdown for two weeks, prepares to ease in mid-May

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President Vladimir Putin extended coronavirus lockdown measures for another two weeks on Tuesday, while ordering his government to begin preparations for a gradual lifting of the curbs from mid-May.

The number of new cases in Russia rose by a record 6,411 on Tuesday, bringing its nationwide tally to 93,558. The number of deaths rose by 72, also a daily record, taking the total number of fatalities to 867.

“We are now nearing a new, perhaps the most intense stage in the fight against the pandemic,” Putin said, addressing heads of Russia’s 85 regions via a video-conference.

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