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Putin approves Russian workplace shutdown

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Coronavirus-related deaths across Russia in the past 24 hours hit yet another daily record at 1,028, with 34,073 new infections.

Speaking at a televised meeting with government officials, Putin said the "non-working days" from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7, during which people would continue to receive salaries, could begin earlier or be extended for certain regions.

Authorities have stepped up the urgency of their efforts to slow the pandemic as they confront widespread public reluctance to get injected with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. Moscow's mayor announced four months of stay-home restrictions for unvaccinated over-60s on Tuesday.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the healthcare system was operating under great strain. Around 650,000 medical professionals across Russia were involved in treating patients suffering from COVID-19, Interfax news agency cited Murashko as saying on Wednesday.

Russia began a revaccination campaign in July, one of the first countries to do so, but Putin has yet to receive a booster shot, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

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