• Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

UPDATE 1-Russia says pandemic worsening in some regions as workplace shutdown nears end

ByAmeerah O'Connor

Nov 5, 2021
UPDATE 1-Russia says pandemic worsening in some regions as workplace shutdown nears end

(Recasts with comments from deputy PM)

MOSCOW, Nov 5 (Reuters) – The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened in 10 Russian regions despite a week-long nationwide workplace shutdown designed to curb a surge in infections, a senior Russian official said on Friday.

At least five out of 85 regions have decided to extend the “non-working days”, announced by President Vladimir Putin last month, into next week.

But most, including Moscow, will resume work next Monday, with some requiring shoppers or visitors to present a QR code on their mobile phones to prove they have been vaccinated or previously infected with the virus.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said the situation had deteriorated in 10 regions, including Tatarstan and Chuvashia east of Moscow, as well as the Tuva and Krasnoyarsk regions of Siberia, in the past week.

“To disrupt the spread of the virus, we need to increase vaccination and stop all attempts to forge (vaccination) documentation,” Golikova said. Russia was quick to develop and launch its Sputnik V vaccine when the pandemic struck last year, but uptake has been slow, with many Russians distrustful of the authorities and nervous of taking it.

The government coronavirus task force said that collective immunity in the country stood at 48% as of Friday. That was a slight increase from 46.8% a week ago, just before the start of the workplace shutdown.

On Friday Russia reported 40,735 new COVID-19 cases and 1,192 deaths related to the virus, three shy of the record set on Thursday. The country has recorded more than 8.7 million infections since the start of the pandemic. (Reporting by Gabrielle T├ętrault-Farber and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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