Russia has recorded another high for daily COVID-19 deaths as authorities across the country moved to keep most people off work in line with a Kremlin order aimed at stemming the spread.
Russia’s coronavirus task force on Wednesday registered 1,123 deaths in 24 hours, the largest daily toll since the pandemic’s start.
Moving to curb contagion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a non-working period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7 when most state organizations and private businesses are to suspend operations.
Russian authorities expect the off-work time will help limit the spread of contagion by keeping people out of offices and public transportation, but many Russians sought to use the period for a seaside vacation ahead of the long winter season.
Russia isn’t the only country dealing with an uptick in cases. According to a weekly report on the pandemic from the World Health Organization, more than 2.9 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide in the week of Oct. 18-24, up about four per cent from a week prior.
WHO’s weekly summary said the highest numbers of new cases last week were reported in:
- The United States, which saw 512,956 new cases — a 12 per cent decrease from a week earlier.
- The United Kingdom, which saw 330,465 new cases — a 16 per cent increase.
- Russia, which saw 248,956 new cases — a 15 per cent increase.
- Turkey, which saw 196,850 new cases — a decrease of eight per cent.
- Ukraine, which saw 134,235 new cases — a 43 per cent increase.
The number of deaths reported globally last week was more than 49,000, the report said, up about five per cent from the previous week.
-From The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 10:50 a.m. ET
What’s happening across Canada
What’s happening around the world
As of late Wednesday morning, more than 244.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracking tool. The reported global death toll stood at more than 4.9 million.
In the Americas, an expert panel voted overwhelmingly to recommend the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for children ages five to 11, saying the benefits of inoculation outweigh the risks.
In Europe, Slovenia’s health minister on Wednesday warned the country could face a nightmare scenario if it does not contain the virus outbreak raging in the small Alpine nation and other low-vaccination countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Health Minister Janez Poklukar said hospital beds have been filling up as the country logged the highest number of daily cases since January. With more than 3,000 confirmed infections in the past 24 hours, Poklukar said a lockdown is looming.
“While we watched with fear at neighbouring Italy at the start of the epidemic, we are now at a turning point because of low vaccination rates and we could easily have a Bergamo scenario,” Poklukar said, mentioning the Italian city that was hit hard earlier in the pandemic.
In the Asia-Pacific region, the health ministry in Vietnam has approved vaccinations for children age 12 to 17, with older teens in more populated cities getting the first doses. There are about 14 million Vietnamese children in that age range.
China has reported nearly 250 locally transmitted cases of COVID-19 since the start of the current outbreak 10 days ago, with many infections in remote towns along porous international borders in the country’s northwest. The country had 50 new local cases for Oct. 26, the highest daily count since Sept. 16, official data showed on Wednesday.
In South Africa — the hardest-hit country in Africa — the Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 331 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 additional deaths. According to the Johns Hopkins tracker, nearly 20 per cent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.
Over 8.4 million confirmed <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> cases on the African continent – with more than 7.9 million recoveries & 217,000 deaths cumulatively.<br><br>View country figures & more with the WHO African Region COVID-19 Dashboard: <a href=”https://t.co/FKav40Cbdd”>https://t.co/FKav40Cbdd</a> <a href=”https://t.co/8e6EbDvjLY”>pic.twitter.com/8e6EbDvjLY</a>
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. With slightly more than 62 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, health officials again urged people to take both doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
-From Reuters, The Associated Press and CBC News, last updated at 10:55 a.m. ET
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