Shops and restaurants in Moscow are partially closed – NEWS WORLD UPDATE

Shops, restaurants and schools in Moscow have been partially closed as battles in Russia record deaths and Covid infections.

Only basic stores such as supermarkets and pharmacies are allowed to open in the capital, while eateries only offer takeaways.

Authorities also gave workers across Russia nine Saturday days off to curb infections.

Russia has reported a record 1,159 deaths from Covid in the last 24 hours.

Official figures also reveal 40,096 new infections in 85 regions of Russia – another record. The last major blockade of Russia took place in May-June 2020.

The overall Covid death toll in Russia during the pandemic is officially over 230,000, the highest in Europe and one of the highest in the world.

But last October, the state-run statistics agency Rosstat calculated that the death toll in Russia’s Covid exceeded 400,000 – far more than government figures.

The percentage of Russia’s population fully vaccinated remains low, at 32.8% on October 23, reports Our World in Data. Most European countries have much higher rates.

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Many are still in the capital?
Richard Galpin, BBC News, Moscow

On a gray, humid day, little seems to have changed as a result of the partial blockage. The streets may be a little quieter than usual, but there are still plenty of cars on the roads, including taxis.

The extensive metro system was also quite busy, as were the bike couriers delivering take-out food.

Construction works on a large commercial investment are ongoing, albeit at a slow pace.

But even if it doesn’t turn out to be the closure it was meant to be, Muscovites must be wondering what might happen next. Could there be a full lockdown in the coming days or weeks if it turns out that the current restrictions are not enough to deal with the latest wave of coronavirus?

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Despite intense state vaccination campaigns, many Russians remain suspicious of the Sputnik V vaccine, which is recognized worldwide as an effective shield against Covid.

Faced with this partial blockade, between October 30 and November 9, many Russians decided to go on vacation. It has been reported that holiday hotels in Egypt – a popular destination for Russians – are fully booked and Russian flights to Egypt are sold out.

Russian news service Vesti reports a panic of buying due to new restrictions. At the central market in Orenburg, a town in the Urals east of Moscow, there’s a rush for meat and fish.

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