Moscow Closes All Non-Essential Services as COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Surge

Moscow has closed all non-essential services in a 11-day partial lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as cases and deaths surge in recent weeks.

Under the orders of Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, retail outlets, sports and entertainment venues, and schools and kindergartens have closed from Oct. 28 until Nov. 7.

Only groceries, pharmacies, and other shops selling essential services are allowed to remain open in the Russian capital.

Meanwhile, food outlets are only allowed to provide take-outs.

However, citizens are not required to stay at home.

The restrictions come as Russia faces daily record numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths while vaccination rates remain low.

According to official government data, Russia has recorded 40,096 cases and 1,159 deaths in the last 24 hours, as of Oct. 28.

In total, Russia has recorded 8,392,697 cases and 235,057 deaths, which is the highest death toll in Europe and the fifth highest in the world.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin declared a nationwide paid holiday from Oct. 30 through Nov. 7 in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus and to encourage Russians to get vaccinated.

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