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Putin keeps Russian workers home for a week as deaths soar

Russian President Vladimir Putin backs the Cabinet’s proposal to declare a non-working week and keep Russian workers away from their offices as coronavirus deaths surge to another daily record.

The government task force reported 1,028 coronavirus deaths over the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. That brought Russia’s total death toll to 226,353 which is by far the highest in Europe.

Putin says he supports the Cabinet’s proposal to introduce a nonworking period starting Oct. 30 and extending through the following week, when four of seven days already are state holidays. He adds that in some regions where the situation is the most threatening, the non-working period could start as early as Saturday.

In some regions, mounting infections forced authorities to suspend medical assistance to the population as health care facilities were forced to focus on treating coronavirus patients.

A tourist wearing a face mask walks along Red Square in central Moscow on October 20, 2021 (Alexander NEMENOV / AFP)

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