Russia has again reported new record figures related to COVID-19.
For the fourth day in a row, the country's coronavirus task force registered a new record number of deaths -- 999-- in the last 24 hours, and 32,196 new cases, its highest one-day infection tally since the pandemic began.
The Kremlin has blamed the rising death toll on Russia's slow vaccination campaign and has appealed to people to get the shot. Take-up has been slow, with many Russians citing distrust of the authorities and fear of new medical products.
Russia was fast to develop and launch its Sputnik vaccine when the pandemic struck last year and has since approved four vaccines for use.
Despite the surge in infections and deaths, the Kremlin has ruled out a nationwide lockdown, delegating the power to make decisions on toughening coronavirus restrictions to regional authorities.
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized on October 12 the importance of broad vaccination and urged lawmakers to help encourage the population to get the shots.
"We must patiently and persistently work with people and explain all the advantages of prophylactics against this dangerous disease," Putin told a meeting with newly elected Russian lawmakers.
Around one-third of the population -- 43 million -- has been inoculated, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on October 12.