Agency: As the Covid death toll and case numbers soar, Russia will shut down for a seven-day non-working period starting on Oct. 30, President Vladimir Putin announced.
The measure is intended to combat the rapid spread of the coronavirus amid low vaccination numbers. The country has been recording more than 1,000 daily Covid deaths for the first time since the pandemic began.
The Kremlin has hesitated to impose widespread restrictions out of fear of disrupting the economy and because of widespread public nonchalance about the pandemic.
“We only have two ways to get through this — get sick or get vaccinated,” Putin said in a news conference. “But it’s better to get vaccinated. Why wait for an illness or its serious consequences?” He added that the non-working period could be extended.
Data: Only 45 million of the country’s 146 million people have been fully vaccinated. Scholars attribute the hesitancy to low levels of trust in the authorities. The Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine has not been approved by the W.H.O.
Details: It is not a full lockdown; instead, nonessential workers are encouraged to stay home, while their employers are encouraged to pay them at least the minimum wage to do so. Four days in that period are already public holidays. The Kremlin imposed a similar non-working period in May, when there were also public holidays.