Putin Orders Paid National Leave To Control COVID-19

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a week of paid national leave to curb COVID infections in Europe’s worst-affected country. He urged Russian citizens to show “responsibility” and be vaccinated.

Putin approved the government’s plan to declare a week-long holiday across the country from October 30 when Russia recorded a record 1,028 coronavirus deaths in a single day.

The 69-year-old Putin said in a televised broadcast that the move was to protect the lives and health of Russian citizens, adding to the severity of the country’s lack of vaccinations.

COVID-19 cases have surged in recent weeks amid a halt to vaccination campaigns with only 35 percent of citizens getting the full shot despite several widely available vaccines including Sputnik V.

News agency AFP reported Putin said he was surprised and surprised by the number of Russians who refused the vaccine, even his own close friends.

Putin has repeatedly appealed to Russian citizens to be vaccinated and asked citizens to show responsibility.

As of Wednesday (20/10), Russia recorded more than 34,000 cases of the new virus and a total of 226,353 deaths – the highest death toll on the European continent. [my/jm]

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