Some Russian regions close workplaces as daily COVID-19 cases hit new peak

MOSCOW, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Russia on Monday reported its highest single-day COVID-19 case since the start of the pandemic, as some regions closed workplaces to counter a surge in infections and deaths Was.

Faced with worsening disease rates and frustrated with the slow adoption of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine by its population, officials are taking tough measures this week to try to slow the spread of the pandemic.

President Vladimir Putin announced last week that there would be paid non-working days from October 30 to November 7, but said each region could extend that period or start it earlier depending on the epidemiological situation. .

TASS news agency reported that six regions east of Moscow, including the Samara and Perm regions, began their non-working days on Monday. Starting this Thursday, Moscow will introduce its strictest lockdown measures since June 2020, with only essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacies remaining open.

The measures are not popular among some Muscovites who question whether the disruption is justified.

“I’m very skeptical about the lockdown because it hurts businesses first of all,” said one man, wearing a medical mask, in front of the Bolshoi Theater named Victor. “I’m an athlete, and gyms are closing. For people who live and breathe sports, it’s really bad.”

Schools in Moscow are also closed, and more than 60 illiterate people in the capital have been ordered to close for four months starting Monday.

Authorities in St Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, said COVID-19 restrictions would not be lifted until at least 80% of its population has been vaccinated, the RIA news agency reported. Nationwide, only a third of the population has been vaccinated.

Putin has ordered a slew of measures, including increased testing, tighter monitoring of mask-wearing and social distancing, and an accelerated vaccine campaign, which gives employees two days off as a reward for getting vaccinated.

Authorities reported 37,930 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hours, a daily record, as well as 1,069 virus-related deaths, six short of the record 1,075 set on Saturday.

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