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40,000 cases, 1,159 deaths: Russia sets Covid-19 daily record as Moscow shuts down hospitality & retail for first time since 2020

40,000 cases, 1,159 deaths: Russia sets Covid-19 daily record as Moscow shuts down hospitality & retail for first time since 2020
Russia's coronavirus headquarters reported a record number of pandemic deaths and cases on Thursday, the same day as Moscow shut down restaurants and retail in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19 throughout the capital.

The grim new figures highlight the ever-worsening situation within Moscow and throughout the country as a whole, as both deaths and infections skyrocket to record highs.

"Over the past 24 hours, 40,096 new cases of coronavirus have been detected in Russia's 85 regions," the official coronavirus HQ revealed. "1,159 deaths have been recorded."

8,440 (21%) of the new cases have been reported in Moscow, despite the city only having around 10% of the country's overall population.

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The landmark figures come on the same day as Moscow and several other regions enter a period of "non-working," meaning that employees of non-essential businesses are to stay at home. On October 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing paid days off from October 30 to November 7, but many regions have chosen to start a couple of days early. This period will see the country's strictest Covid-19 measures since June 2020, with the country having operated mostly as normal since the end of the original lockdown, over a year ago.

For this period, Moscow has imposed its own restrictions on cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls, forcing them to close. Schools are also off for a week. Following the announcement by Sergey Sobyanin, the capital's mayor, other regional leaders, like the governor of the surrounding Moscow Region Andrey Vorobyov, also issued a similar decree. Saint Petersburg top official Alexander Beglov also opted to close down retail and hospitality after it emerged that many Muscovites planned to spend the non-working week in the country's second city.

The capital's mayor also ordered Muscovites over 60 to stay at home for four months, starting from October 25.

On Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin once again called for citizens to be vaccinated against Covid-19, calling it "impossible to cope" with the spread of infection if more people aren't inoculated. A day later, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that 67.8% of Russians had received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, still short of the national 80% target.

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