Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Putin Orders Russians to Stay Off Work as Pandemic Deaths Rise
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 2 years ago on
October 20, 2021

Share

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered most Russians to stay off work for a week later this month amid rising COVID-19 infections and deaths, and he strongly urged reluctant citizens to get vaccinated.

“It’s a matter of your life and security and the health of your dear ones.” — Russian President Vladimir Putin

The government coronavirus task force reported 1,028 deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. That brought Russia’s death toll to 226,353, by far the highest in Europe.

Putin said he supports the Cabinet’s proposal to introduce a nonworking period starting Oct. 30 and extending through the following week, when four of seven days already are official state holidays. In some regions where the situation is the most threatening, he said the nonworking period could start as early as Saturday and be extended past Nov. 7.

Putin Wants to Ease Strain on Russia’s Healthcare System

“Our task today is to protect life and health of our citizens and minimize the consequences of the dangerous infection,” Putin said in a video call with top officials. “To achieve that, it’s necessary to first of all slow the pace of contagion and mobilize additional reserves of the healthcare system, which is currently working under a high strain.”

Russia’s daily coronavirus mortality numbers have been surging for weeks and topped 1,000 for the first time over the weekend amid sluggish vaccination rates, lax public attitudes toward taking precautions and the government’s reluctance to toughen restrictions. Only about 45 million Russians — roughly a third of its nearly 146 million people — are fully vaccinated.

The nonworking period should help limit the spread by keeping people out of offices and off crowded public transportation, but Moscow and many other cities haven’t curbed access to restaurants, cafes, bars, theaters and gyms.

When the Cabinet proposed the measure Tuesday, many Russians rushed to book flights to Black Sea resorts to take advantage of the break.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who leads the task force, emphasized that the nonworking week should imply limiting access to restaurants, theaters, and other entertainment venues, adding that regional authorities will be expected to impose restrictions.

Russians Urged to Avoid Travel

She particularly urged Russians to refrain from traveling to other regions during the period and emphasized the need for relatives of those infected to stay home.

It wasn’t immediately clear what private businesses would be required to stop working in line with Putin’s decree, in addition to state workers and employees of state-owned companies. During a similar measure early in the pandemic, many private and state-owned companies in “vital” economic sectors were allowed to keep operating.

The Cabinet has drafted measures on compensation to businesses to help absorb the economic blow, including one-time payments equivalent to a minimum monthly pay per worker and low-interest credits.

In urging Russians to get the shots, Putin said “it’s a matter of your life and security and the health of your dear ones.”

“There are only two ways to get over this period — to get sick or to receive a vaccine,” he said. “It’s better to get the vaccine. Why wait for the illness and its grave consequences? Please be responsible and take the necessary measures to protect yourself, your health and your close ones.”

The Russian leader, who got the domestically developed Sputnik V vaccine earlier this year, said he’s puzzled by the vaccine hesitancy, even among his close friends.

“I can’t understand what’s going on,” Putin said. “We have a reliable and efficient vaccine. The vaccine really reduces the risks of illness, grave complications and death.”

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

DON'T MISS

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

DON'T MISS

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

DON'T MISS

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

DON'T MISS

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

UP NEXT

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

More Aid Is Supposed to Be Entering the Gaza Strip. Why Isn’t It Helping?

UP NEXT

Wife of Julian Assange Says Biden’s Comments Mean Case Could Be Moving in the Right Direction

UP NEXT

Hamas Leader Says 3 Sons, 4 Grandchildren Killed in ‘Revenge’ Israeli Attack

UP NEXT

Blinken and Cameron Urge Congress to Approve Aid for Ukraine, Calling It Critical for World Security

UP NEXT

Austin Tells Congress Israel Is Taking Steps to Boost Aid to Gaza as Lawmakers Question US Support

UP NEXT

55% of Americans Disapprove of Israeli Actions in Gaza: Poll

UP NEXT

Netanyahu Vows to Invade Rafah, Which US Calls a Mistake

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

1 day ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

2 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

2 days ago

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

2 days ago

Dr. Green Thumb’s Is Open. Sweet Flower Debuts Saturday in Fresno Cannabis Rollout.

2 days ago

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

2 days ago

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

2 days ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

Last June, more than half of California’s lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike, with no particular ideological preference — attended ...

8 hours ago

8 hours ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

8 hours ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

16 hours ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

1 day ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

1 day ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

1 day ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

1 day ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend