Moscow to reenter virus lockdown
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a non-work week to start Oct. 30 to combat surging COVID-19 cases and deaths, but the capital city will go a step further. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced an 11-day lockdown starting no later than Oct. 28. The city will close schools, businesses, gyms, and other public spaces in Moscow. Restaurants and cafes will shift to takeout only. Museums and theaters will operate at 50 percent capacity and only for Russians who can prove vaccination status on a digital pass.
How severe is the situation? Daily new infections and deaths are at a pandemic high in the country. The government task force reported more than 36,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths just in the past day. Russia’s death toll is now the highest in Europe. Only about one-third of the population is fully vaccinated. Putin has urged Russians to get the Sputnik V vaccine, but many are hesitant because the World Health Organization has not authorized it. The WHO said the approval process for Russia’s vaccines is on hold due to legal issues. Sobyanin said the skyrocketing cases are exhausting medical services and becoming the country’s “worst case scenario.”
Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report about international vaccine distribution.
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