Russia battles with COVID deaths, low vaccine rates

Russia's COVID-19 crisis deepened on Sunday, with the country reporting at least 1072 deaths.

35,660 new cases were also reported, more than 5,000 of them in the capital, Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin this week approved a nationwide workplace shutdown in the first week of November.

Moscow will reimpose a partial lockdown from Thursday (October 28), with only essential shops including pharmacies and supermarkets allowed to remain open.

Authorities in St Petersburg also announced on Saturday that the city will introduce the same measures from October 30.

Despite developing its own COVID-19 vaccine early in the pandemic, Russia has vaccinated only about a third of its population, one of the lowest rates in Europe, with citizens citing distrust of the authorities and new medical products.

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