Russian region of Novgorod extends non-working period as COVID-19 infections rise

Russia’s Novgorod region has ordered most residents not to work for another week as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Citizens are encouraged to …

Russia’s Novgorod region has ordered most residents not to work for another week as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

Citizens are encouraged to start from the 8th

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a nationwide week off from October 30th to counter the rise in infections.

The Novgorod regional authorities were the first to extend the measure on Monday.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported more than 40,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases for the third straight day and more than 1,100 deaths for the seventh straight day.

President Putin had said that the regional governments could start the non-working period earlier than planned or extend the measure.

In the Novgorod region – around 500 kilometers northwest of the Russian capital Moscow – days off began on October 25.

The non-working time was aimed at keeping people away from offices and crowded public transport to reduce the spread of the virus.

But restrictions were loosely respected in some cities, while others rushed to popular vacation destinations to take advantage of the break.

Novgorod Governor Andrei Nikitin said there was no reason to expect the situation to improve anytime soon.

Less than 35% of the Russian population has been fully vaccinated to date, despite Russia being one of the first in the world to approve and introduce a coronavirus vaccine.

On Monday the Kremlin said it was concerned that doctors treating coronavirus patients in Russia were overworked.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that some health workers are facing “extreme emotional and physical stress.”

President Putin also said at a meeting with the military and arms manufacturers that the situation was “very difficult”.

“A real solution to preventing serious and fatal cases of the disease is vaccination,” Putin said.

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