MOSCOW, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Russia on Tuesday proposed to shut workplaces for a week at the start of November as its daily COVID-19 death toll hit a new record and a sharp rise in cases continued, leading to fresh calls from the Kremlin for people to get vaccinated.
Russia’s COVID-19 task force reported 1,015 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the pandemic, as well as 33,740 new infections, just shy of a record daily rise, with authorities blaming the surge on a slow vaccination campaign.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova proposed that Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 be deemed non-working days to combat rising infections. Russia has taken similar steps at previous times during the pandemic, notably for around a month when it first struck in March last year.
New Zealand recorded its highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday as a Delta-variant outbreak that dashed the nation’s “Covid Zero” hopes showed no signs of easing.
Health authorities announced 94 new virus cases, exceeding the previous daily record of 89 set in April last year during the first wave of Covid-19 infections.
While case numbers remain low by most international standards, they have been steadily growing since the highly transmissible Delta variant was first found in New Zealand in mid-August.