The Kremlin called for the “strengthening of control over compliance with all restrictive measures” including “the introduction of a ban on the holding of entertainment and entertainment events and the provision of catering services from 23:00 to 6:00 in the morning” in a statement published Monday. Putin’s order states that the measure should be introduced before November 30. Russia’s Covid-19 crisis is deepening and its officials have started openly admitting that the country is facing a dire winter.
A 10-day lockdown
And in Moscow, a 10-day lockdown will run from October 28 to November 7, with only a few limited exemptions. Prior to announcing the lockdown, the city ordered all unvaccinated residents over 60, as well as unvaccinated people “suffering from chronic diseases,” to remain home for four months until late February.
“The situation in Moscow also continues to develop in the worst-case scenario,” wrote Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin in a blog post announcing the measures on October 21.
Experts blame the situation on a slow vaccination drive, an overwhelmed health care system, and widespread mistrust in government. Russia was the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, for use in August 2020, but only around 30% of the population is fully vaccinated in a country where four domestic vaccines are now available.
Not willing to vaccinate
A recent survey by independent pollster Levada-Center found 52% of Russians were not ready to get vaccinated against coronavirus with Russian vaccines, with only 14% being willing. Russia hasn’t approved any foreign-made coronavirus vaccines yet, with only Russian ones available across the country.
The Kremlin has admitted its partial responsibility for the low vaccination rates.
“Of course, not all that needed to be done was done for informing and explaining the inevitability and importance of vaccination,” said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Putin, on October 19. “But at the same time, citizens of our country need to take a more responsible position and get vaccinated,” he added. Russia has recorded a total of 228,581 deaths from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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