In 24 hours, 37,930 cases were confirmed by the Russian government's coronavirus taskforce. This is the highest number of cases since the outbreak. The task force reported 1,069 additional COVID-19 deaths during the same time period, slightly less than the record of 1,075 set over the weekend.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russians to not work between Oct. 30th and Nov. 7th, when the country will observe a long holiday. Except for key infrastructure companies and a few others who operate important infrastructure, all state and private organizations are prohibited from working during this time.
Putin suggested that the nonworking time could be extended beyond Nov. 7 in some of Russia's 85 regions, where the situation is especially dire. The off-work period began Monday for six of them: Kursk, Nizhny Novgorod and Novgorod as well as Perm, Samara, Samara, and Voronezh.
Moscow officials ordered that it begin on Thursday. Gyms, entertainment venues, and most stores will be closed for 11 days. Kindergartens and schools will also be closed. During this time, cafes and restaurants will be closed for delivery or takeout orders. Pharmacies and food stores can remain open.
Putin also instructed local officials to tell unvaccinated older people to stay at home, and to avoid nightclubs and other entertainment venues.
Russian authorities believe that the lack of activity will reduce the spread of the virus. They hope to keep people out of offices, and off public transports where mask mandates are not strictly enforced.
Russia has recorded over 8.2 Million confirmed cases of the virus and 231,669 deaths. This is the fifth-highest death toll in Europe, and the fifth in the world, after Brazil, India, Mexico, and the United States.
According to the government, the recent spike in deaths and infections is due to low vaccination rates and lax public attitudes towards taking preventative measures. About 45 million Russians, or a third of nearly 146 millions people in Russia are fully vaccinated.
Russia was the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccination, launching Sputnik V on August 2020. It also has plenty of supplies. However, the slow pace of uptake is partly due to inconsistent signals from authorities.