MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has ordered most Russians to stay off work until the end of the month to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Putin said he was extending the non-working policy he ordered earlier for this week to remain in force throughout April.

He said there are exceptions for essential industries will keep operating, and grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

He says Russians who aren't working should continue earning their regular salaries.

Putin said Russia's virus-prevention strategies have bought time and helped slow down the outbreak but also warned that cases haven't yet peaked.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app