Russia is in the midst of its worst surge yet in COVID cases and deaths, and the mayor of Moscow has resorted to what has been considered a last resort: The city is going into what amounts to an 11-day lockdown starting next week, reports the Washington Post. From Oct. 28 to Nov. 7, eat-in restaurants, schools, gyms, cinemas, etc., will close their doors, per the AP. Some exceptions: Food stores and pharmacies can stay open, while museums and theaters can operate at half-capacity. “Let’s take a little rest and help save the lives and health of many people,” says Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. "And then the city can return to normal life."
The move comes a day after Russia reported 36,339 new infections and 1,036 deaths Wednesday in a 24-hour span. Russia's death toll, now above 227,000, is easily the highest in Europe. This also comes a day after Vladimir Putin told most Russian workers to stay home from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 while expressing frustration over the nation's low vaccination rate of about 30%. “I can’t understand what’s going on,” Putin said in regard to the low acceptance of the nation's Sputnik vaccine. “We have a reliable and efficient vaccine. The vaccine really reduces the risks of illness, grave complications and death.” (Read more Moscow stories.)