Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a short-term lockdown in Russia that would last from October 30 to November 7 (with the preservation of wages).
“It is especially important now to bring down the peak of the new wave of the epidemic,” he said at a meeting with members of the government.
The head of state did not rule out that the lockdown period (non-working days) would need to be extended. He also urged the heads of the Russian regions to start implementing non-working days as early as October 23, if necessary.
On October 19, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova put forward a suggestion to introduce non-working days across all of Russia from October 30 to November 7. Several regions of the country would have to go on lockdown starting from October 23. She did not specify which regions they were exactly.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin supported Golikova's suggestion. According to him, previous experience showed that such measures were effective.
In 2020, lockdown or non-working days, as it is commonly referred to in the country, was supposed to last from March 30 to April 5, but Putin subsequently extended it until April 30, and then - until May 11.
According to Russia's Minister for Healthcare, the situation remains tense in Udmurtia, Bashkiria and Tatarstan, as well as in Orenburg, Tyumen, Ivanovo and Perm regions.
Specialists believe that non-working days will help if one takes them seriously.
Professor of virology, chief researcher at the Gamaleya Center, Anatoly Altstein, believes that in order for lockdown measures to work, one should get vaccinated, observe distancing and wear face masks.
“If it turns into just a holiday and uncontrolled communication, this, of course, will not bring any results,” he concluded.
Allergist-immunologist Vladimir Bolibok believes that one should minimise social interaction during non-working days, otherwise the situation with COVID-19 will be deplorable.
“If no measures are taken to restrict mass gatherings of people and their movement, this will make the situation worse," he said.
Over the past 24 hours, a record 1,028 people have died of COVID-19 in Russia. As many as 1,015 people died on October 19 and 998 people – on October 18. The coronavirus death toll in Russia has thus amounted to 226,353.