Moscow: Russia is currently struggling with a high number of Covid-19 infections and have registered 35,660 Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally to 8,241,643, the official monitoring and response center said on Sunday. The nationwide death toll grew by 1,072 to 230,600. Recoveries increased by 22,784 to 7,165,921, Xinhua news agency reported. The capital city Moscow has reported 5,279 new Covid cases, taking the city’s caseload to 1,766,929.Also Read - Flying to UK? Country Tightens Travel Rules As Omicron Looms | Deets Inside

Russia’s second-largest city St Petersburg will go into lockdown, shutting restaurants, cafes, beauty salons, sports centers and non-essential trade from October 30 to November 7. The national coronavirus task force said Saturday that 1,075 people had died from the virus in the past day and that 37,678 new infections were tallied the largest single-day numbers of the pandemic. The daily death toll is about 33% higher than that recorded in late September and infection cases have risen by about 70% in the past month. Also Read - After 15 Days, Bengaluru Doctor With Omicron Still Tests Covid Positive

Only about one-third of Russia’s 146 million people have been vaccinated, frustrating officials and placing a strain on the country’s health-care system. Facing widespread resistance to vaccination, President Vladimir Putin has responded to the worsening situation by ordering Russians to stay away from work between Oct 30 and Nov 7. Also Read - Parents Knowingly Send Covid Positive Child To School; Trigger Outbreak

Many regions are imposing additional restrictions, including closing gyms, theatres and sit-down service at restaurants or restricting them to customers who can show QR codes confirming that they are fully vaccinated. Overall, Russia has recorded about 8.2 million cases of coronavirus infection and 229,528 deaths, according to the task force. However, that toll counts only deaths attributed directly to the virus; the national statistics service Rosstat has reported tens of thousands of deaths in which the virus was considered to be a contributing factor.

Russia was the first country in the world to authorize a coronavirus vaccine, launching Sputnik V in August 2020, and has plentiful supplies. But uptake has been slow, blamed in part on conflicting signals from authorities.

While extolling Sputnik V and three other domestic vaccines, state-controlled media often criticized Western-made shots, a message that many saw as feeding doubts about vaccines in general.

Putin has deplored Russians’ vaccine hesitancy, saying that there are just two options for everyone to get sick, or receive a vaccine. And there is no way to walk between the raindrops. Asked if Russia could make vaccines mandatory, Putin said this week he believes they should remain voluntary.

(With Agency inputs)