Moscow has brought in its strictest COVID-19 lockdown measures in more than a year as nationwide one-day pandemic deaths and infections hit new highs.
The Russian capital has now shut shops, schools and restaurants for 11 days in a bid to battle the deadly coronavirus. Like Moscow; some regions decided to begin with their partial lockdowns on Thursday or even earlier.
However, the residents in Moscow are allowed to leave their homes, unlike the lockdown in summer 2020.
The Kremlin has blamed the rising cases on vaccine hesitancy.
Russia has reported a record 1,159 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The official data reveals 40,096 new infections in 85 regions of Russia, which is another record.
Russia’s overall COVID-19 death toll is officially more than 230,000.
This is the highest in Europe and one of the highest in the world.
At the State Duma lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker, urged that all lawmakers should get vaccinated. “Imagine the consequences for the country if parliament stops working,” Volodin told the lower house. “Every day we’re seeing how our…colleagues are ending up in hospital beds,” he said.
Many Russians are reluctant to get vaccinated. As of October 22; official data revealed that 49.1 million Russians were fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, reports have revealed that a new coronavirus variant had emerged which may be more contagious than Delta.
Russia’s RIA news agency quoted a researcher as saying that AY.4.2 variant could spread widely leading to an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
Other cities in Russia including Voronezh have also been hit due to the fast-spreading virus.