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A serviceman of Russia's Emergencies Ministry wearing protective gear disinfects Moscow's Belorussky railway station on October 20, 2021. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday supported a proposal to institute a non-working week to curb record high coronavirus deaths, AP reports.

Driving the news: Putin said Wednesday that he backs a non-working period, where workers will stay at home, beginning Oct. 30 and continuing through the following week, when four of seven days are already state holidays, per AP.

  • Russia on Wednesday totaled 1,028 COVID-19 deaths over 24 hours, the highest number since the pandemic began.
  • The non-working week could begin as early as Saturday in some regions where deaths from coronavirus are surging, Putin said.

The big picture: Coronavirus deaths have been rising for weeks in Russia, where vaccinations have lagged and the government has been reluctant to tighten restrictions.

  • Approximately 45 million Russians, or 32%, are fully vaccinated.
  • Until now, the Kremlin has ruled out a national lockdown and regional authorities have determined their own restrictions, with many of Russia’s regions restricting attendance at large public events and cutting attendance at theaters, restaurants and other venues.
  • In Moscow, public venues have been filled with people, prompting Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to announce Tuesday that unvaccinated people over 60 will be required to stay home, per AP.

Go deeper

Dec 2, 2021 - World

Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people

Photo: John MacDougall - Pool/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that people who are unvaccinated will not be allowed in nonessential shops, cultural and recreational venues, AP reports.

State of play: Merkel, alongside incoming Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said the measures were necessary to avoid overflowing hospitals with coronavirus patients. The country is seeing an increase in daily infections.

48 mins ago - Health

Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New data from South Africa suggests the Omicron variant spreads more than twice as quickly as the Delta variant, and that immunity from prior infection doesn't appear to protect a person very well against Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The findings are extremely preliminary, and there are still many open questions about how well vaccines work against the variant. But these initial breadcrumbs of data are helping the world begin to understand what it's up against.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

AI could end foreign-language subtitles

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AI companies are developing methods to translate and synthesize voices in ads, movies and TV.

Why it matters: The advances in voice synthesis could help fix bad movie dubbing — and they come as international content is becoming increasingly important to studios and streaming platforms as part of the globalization of entertainment.