Russia has 1,195. set another daily COVID-19 death record

MOSCOW (AP) – Russia has set another record for daily coronavirus deaths as it battles its way through a long spike in infections that has resulted in restrictions across the country.

The national coronavirus task force said Thursday that 1,195 people died of COVID-19 last day, surpassing 1,189 the previous day. Since the end of September, Russia has recorded new highs in infections and deaths almost every day.

The task force reported 40,217 new infections, up from the record of 40,993 on October 31.

Less than 35% of the nearly 146 million people in Russia are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, despite months before most countries approved a domestically developed vaccine against the coronavirus.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force has reported more than 8.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 243,000 deaths during the pandemic.

Russia has been on a nationwide non-working period for the past six days, which the government put in place to contain the spread of the virus. Last month, President Vladimir Putin ordered many Russians not to work between October 30 and November 7. He authorized regional governments to extend the number of days off if necessary.

Officials in Russia’s Novgorod region, which is 500 kilometers northwest of Moscow, said Monday the absence from jobs would last another week. Four other regions – the Tomsk region in Siberia, the Chelyabinsk region in the Urals, the Kursk and Bryansk regions southwest of Moscow – followed suit on Wednesday. The Smolensk region on the border with Belarus also extended the days off, but only until November 10th.

Governors of at least three other regions have said they are considering extending their non-working hours.

Moscow and the surrounding region, which together account for nearly 25% of new infections every day, will not extend the non-working period beyond November 7, officials said.

Certain restrictions remain in place in the Russian capital, such as a stay at home order for older adults and a mandate for companies to have 30% of their employees work from home. Access to theaters and museums is restricted to people who are either fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months, or have a negative coronavirus test.

But reports from Russian state statistics service Rosstat that coronavirus-related deaths are retrospectively showing much higher death rates than the task force’s. A report released last week showed that approximately 462,000 people died with COVID-19 between April 2020 and last September.

Russian officials said the task force only includes deaths for which COVID-19 was the leading cause and uses data from medical facilities. Rosstat uses broader criteria for counting virus-related deaths and gets its figures from the registry offices where the death registration process has been completed.


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