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Russia: Moscow shuts most workplaces as infections, deaths touch all-time highs

Prime News, International (Moscow), Oct 29:- The Russian capital on Thursday started a nonworking period intended to stem coronavirus infections as new daily cases and deaths from COVID-19 surged to all-time highs.

The government coronavirus task force reported 1,159 deaths in 24 hours, the largest daily tally since the pandemic began.

The country’s official death toll from the pandemic, by far the highest in Europe, now stands at 235,057.

To slow the spread of the virus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a nonworking period from Oct 30 to Nov 7, when most state organizations and private businesses are to suspend operations. He encouraged the most affected regions to start sooner, and some ordered most of their residents off work earlier this week.

Moscow followed Thursday, shutting kindergartens, schools, gyms, entertainment venues and most stores, and allowing restaurants and cafes to only provide service for takeout or delivery. Food stores, pharmacies and companies operating key infrastructure remained open.

Access to museums, theaters, concert halls and other venues is limited to people holding digital codes on their smartphones to prove they have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, a practice that will remain in place after Nov 7.

Putin has also instructed local officials to close nightclubs and other entertainment venues and ordered unvaccinated people older than 60 to stay home. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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