Moscow Shuts Down As Russia Sees Record Virus Cases, Deaths

Story Highlights
  • Moscow shut downs non-essential services till November 7th.
  • Russia has struggled with low vaccination rates.
  • It has reported new records of 40,096 infections and 1,159 fatalities.

Russia reported record numbers of daily coronavirus cases and deaths on Thursday as Moscow shut down non-essential services for 11 days to combat the surge in infections. The country hardest hit in Europe by the pandemic, Russia has struggled with low vaccination rates despite developing several of its own jabs. Recent weeks have seen daily numbers of cases and deaths hit the highest of the pandemic, with the official government tally on Thursday reporting new records of 40,096 infections and 1,159 fatalities.

President Vladimir Putin’s government has been pinning its hopes on homegrown vaccines like the Sputnik V jab, but Russians have proven stubbornly resistant to being inoculated. As of Thursday, only 32% of Russia’s population had been fully vaccinated. Putin last week ordered a nationwide paid holiday between October 30th and November 7th in a bid to reverse rising infections. Roads in Moscow on Thursday morning were slightly less congested than usual, but the city’s sprawling Metro network was as busy as ever, with many passengers not wearing masks.

Russia has recorded nearly 8.4 million cases and more than 235,000 deaths, though independent experts say authorities have downplayed the severity of the pandemic. Figures published by statistics in October paint a darker picture, suggesting that more than 400,000 people have died in the country from the coronavirus. After a months-long lockdown early in the pandemic, Russian authorities have been hesitant to impose further restrictions that would hurt the economy, instead pleading with Russians to get vaccinated.

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