Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit another daily record Tuesday, four days since a statewide order for many Russians to stay away from work went into effect.
Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 39,008 new confirmed cases and 1,178 COVID-19 deaths. The task force has reported record daily infections or deaths almost every day for the past month.
To curb the spread of the corona virus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a nationwide non-working period from October 30 to November. 7th
Putin said governments in regions where the situation is worst could add more days off if needed. The Novgorod region was the first to do this on Monday and extended the period by another week.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday denied rumors that the non-working time could be extended for all of Russia. He stressed that regional governments have the power to put their own measures in place to contain the outbreak.
Russia’s week-long surge in infections and deaths comes from low vaccination rates, a lax public stance on precautionary measures and the government’s reluctance to tighten restrictions. Less than 35% of the nearly 146 million people in Russia have been fully vaccinated to date, despite Russia approving a domestically developed vaccine for the coronavirus months before most countries.
Putin described the situation with COVID-19 in Russia on Monday as “very difficult”.
In total, Russia’s state coronavirus task force has reported nearly 8.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 240,000 deaths in the pandemic – by far the highest death toll in Europe.
However, reports from the Russian state statistics service Rosstat retrospectively listing coronavirus-related deaths show much higher death rates. A report released last week showed that approximately 462,000 people died with COVID-19 between April 2020 and September this year.
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 that have completed the process of registering a death.