MOSCOW: Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Saturday introduced a “non-working” week within the Russian capital, with non-essential employees instructed to remain residence, as Covid-19 instances hit a six-month excessive.

The choice marks a change of tone for Russian authorities, with President Vladimir Putin repeatedly insisting that Russia has dealt with the pandemic higher than most nations.

“Through the previous week the state of affairs with the unfold of the coronavirus an infection has sharply deteriorated,” Sobyanin stated on his web site as town registered 6,701 day by day infections, the very best quantity since December final yr.

Sobyanin added that “1000’s” of hospital beds have been repurposed for coronavirus sufferers.

“We can’t not react to such a state of affairs,” he stated. “To cease the expansion of infections and to save lots of folks´s lives, immediately I signed a decree offering for non-working days between June 15-19.”

The order impacts all staff within the Russian capital, a metropolis of 12 million, aside from important employees.

Non-essential employees usually are not required to work at home through the interval, however will nonetheless retain their salaries.

Along with the weekends and a public vacation on June 14, it means most Moscow employees is not going to return to their workplaces till June 20.

– Extra younger sufferers –

The mayor additionally introduced the closure of meals courts and playgrounds whereas eating places, bars and golf equipment might be banned from serving clients between 23:00 and 06:00.

Sobyanin additionally known as on employers to switch not less than 30 p.c of non-vaccinated staff to working from residence after the week-long shutdown.

Circumstances have been on the rise throughout the nation in current weeks as Russia struggles to innoculate its residents regardless of home vaccines being extensively out there to the general public.

A spike in infections has additionally been reported in Russia´s second metropolis Saint Petersburg, which is co-hosting the Euro 2020 soccer championship.

Moscow deputy mayor Anastasia Rakova stated Saturday that 78 p.c of the 14,000 hospital beds for virus sufferers within the metropolis have been at present occupied.

“In Moscow hospitals working with coronavirus sufferers there are at present 498 folks on ventilators, that´s virtually 30 p.c greater than every week in the past,” Rakova stated.

She stated over the previous two months there had been a “vital” enhance within the variety of younger sufferers aged between 18 and 35.

Earlier this week, Sobyanin stated Moscow can be opening a number of discipline hospitals to accommodate the inflow of sufferers.

– Sluggish vaccination –

Russia has been among the many nations hardest hit by the pandemic, with the sixth-highest variety of instances on this planet, based on an AFP tally.

Kremlin critics have accused authorities of downplaying the severity of the pandemic by solely counting fatalities the place the coronavirus was discovered to be the first reason for dying after the post-mortem.

On Saturday, Russia registered 13,510 new coronavirus instances and 399 deaths, based on a authorities tally.

Russia imposed a strict lockdown when the pandemic first swept throughout the nation final spring.

However inside months authorities had lifted most measures, opting to guard the struggling economic system and pinning their hopes on curbing the outbreak with vaccines.

Officers have registered 4 homegrown vaccines — Sputnik V, its single-dose model Sputnik Gentle, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.

Russia´s home vaccination marketing campaign began in early December, forward of most nations, however Russians have been hesitant to enroll.

Polls present that greater than half of respondents don’t intend to get vaccinated.

Thus far 18 million Russians – or 12 p.c of the inhabitants — have obtained not less than one dose of a vaccine.

Putin — who the Kremlin stated was vaccinated in personal with one in every of Russia´s jabs — has repeatedly known as on Russians to get immunised.

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