Bonus Payouts Announced for Russia’s Virus Medics

Additional payouts to Russian health professionals working on “the frontline” of the country’s fight against the coronavirus were announced by President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Novaya Gazeta reported.

Doctors treating coronavirus patients would be paid an additional 80,000 rubles ($1,059) per month, while nurses, ambulance medics and drivers would get between 25,000 and 50,000 rubles ($332-$665).

The country is realising how crucial the work of doctors is “for the first time in decades,” said Putin, promising 10 billion rubles ($132 million) for monthly bonuses to health care employees nationwide.

“These specialists are on the front line,” Putin said, ordering an increase in their state insurance to the level enjoyed by members of the armed forces.

Putin listed the bonuses as part of new measures to support Russians during the epidemic after health officials reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases.

The president also urged the public to be patient with the lockdown to help slow the spread of the infection.

“For most people, to be inside four walls is dreary and miserable,” he said during a video call with regional governors.

“A breakthrough in battling the infection will depend on our discipline and responsibility,” he said.

Russia on Wednesday reported 1,175 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 8,672. The epicentre of the epidemic in Russia is Moscow, with 5,841 cases. So far, Russia has recorded only 63 deaths from the virus.