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Record daily COVID deaths in Russia and Ukraine amid low vaccinations

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By Euronews with AP
A medical worker administers a shot of Russia's Sputnik Lite coronavirus vaccine in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, 26 October 2021.
A medical worker administers a shot of Russia's Sputnik Lite coronavirus vaccine in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, 26 October 2021.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
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Russia reported a record daily number of deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday as the virus continues to surge in Eastern Europe where low vaccination rates have allowed it to spread quickly.

The Kremlin ordered Russian workers to stay home starting this week amid rising COVID-19 infections in a non-working period that lasts until November 7.

The country had 1,106 deaths in 24 hours due to COVID-19, the highest number since the start of the pandemic. It brings the official death toll to 232,775, the highest in Europe.

Russia registered 36,446 new daily coronavirus cases, slightly fewer than the past few days.

The government has blamed the quick spread of the virus and soaring deaths on low vaccination rates. Only about 49 million Russians — about a third of the country’s nearly 146 million people — are fully vaccinated.

Ukraine and Bulgaria also reported record daily deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday.

In Ukraine, the vaccine uptake has been even slower than in Russia, with just about 16% of the country's 41 million people fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria, the European Union's least-vaccinated nation with about 25% of the adult population fully inoculated, reported 5,863 new confirmed cases and 243 deaths on Tuesday, both national daily records.