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COVID deaths in Russia hit new record after most restrictions lifted

People visit a shopping mall in Moscow, Russia, November 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People visit a shopping mall in Moscow, Russia, November 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

MOSCOW — Coronavirus deaths in Russia hit a new record today and new confirmed cases remain high two days after a nine-day non-working period ended in most of the country’s regions.

The state coronavirus task force reports 1,211 COVID-19 deaths, the highest daily death toll in the pandemic, and 39,160 new cases. The task force has reported around 40,000 cases and over 1,100 deaths every day since late October.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered many Russians last month to stay off work between October 30 and November 7. He authorized regional governments to extend the number of non-working days if necessary, but only five Russian regions have done so.

Other regions have restricted access to restaurants, theaters and other public places to people who either have been fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months or tested negative in the previous 72 hours.

The daily tallies of new cases and COVID-19 deaths remained high throughout the non-working period. Officials in the Kremlin argued Monday that it was too early to tell whether the measure had the desired effect.

Russia’s fall surge in infections and deaths comes amid low vaccination rates, lax public attitudes toward taking precautions and the government’s reluctance to toughen restrictions.

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