The daily number of Covid deaths in Russia hit another high on Tuesday amid a surge in infections that forced the Kremlin to order most Russians to stay off work starting this week.
The national coronavirus task force reported 1,106 deaths in 24 hours, the most since the start of the pandemic. The number brought the country's pandemic death toll to 232,775, Europe's biggest by far.
Russia registered 36,446 new daily coronavirus cases, slightly fewer compared to the past few days.
In a move intended to stem the spread of the virus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a non-working period between Oct 30 and Nov 7, when the country will observe an extended holiday.
During that time, most state organisations and private businesses are to suspend operations, and most stores will close along with kindergartens, schools, gyms and most entertainment venues. Restaurants and cafes will only be open for takeout or delivery orders. Food stores, pharmacies and businesses operating key infrastructure can stay open.
Access to museums, theatres, concert halls and other venues will be limited to people holding digital codes on their smartphones to prove they have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid, a practice that will remain in place after Nov 7.
Cases spike in Belgium
Brussels: Coronavirus indicators are shooting upward in Belgium, pushing the government on Tuesday to consider re-imposing some pandemic measures that it only relaxed a few weeks ago. Daily infections in the nation of 11 mn increased 75 per cent to reach 5,299 case on a daily basis last week.
Hospitalisations have increased by 69 per cent to reach 102 daily cases. Deaths have increased slightly, with an average of 13 a day.
To turn around this trend, the government and regional officials are set to decide later Tuesday to boost measures again, although stopping well short of a going into a lockdown. Indications are that authorities are looking at increased mandatory use of face masks and virus passports.
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