Russia has reported another 1,158 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, just three fewer that the record set the previous day as the pandemic continues to engulf the country.
The country’s coronavirus task force said on November 1 that it had recorded 40,402 new COVID-19 infections, the third consecutive day the figure has topped 40,000. It added that some 932,000 patients are currently undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in Russia.
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More than 8.5 million infections have been recorded in the country of 146 million during the pandemic. Russia’s official COVID-19 death count stands at about 240,000, the largest in Europe and fourth-highest in the world behind the United States, Brazil, and India.
But the task force counts only deaths directly caused by the virus. The state statistics service Rosstat, which counts COVID-19 deaths by wider criteria, released figures on October 29 indicating Russia’s death toll was about 462,000 as of the end of September, nearly twice the task force’s count at that time.
To contain the spread of infection, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a paid "nonwork" period from October 30 to November 7 during which most state agencies and private businesses are to suspend operations.
Moscow introduced the measures on October 28, shutting down kindergartens, schools, gyms, entertainment venues, and most stores, and restricting restaurants to takeout or delivery. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and companies operating key infrastructure remain open.
Access to museums, theaters, concert halls, and other venues in Russia is limited to people holding digital codes on their phones to prove they have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19, a practice that will remain after November 7. Unvaccinated people older than 60 have been ordered to stay home.
Many Russians are using the time off to take a Black Sea vacation or a trip to Egypt or Turkey.
Authorities have blamed soaring infections and deaths on the slow pace of Russia’s vaccination program. About 51 million Russians -- just over a third of the population -- were fully vaccinated as of October 31.