Forced - and unpaid - leave for Russian employees refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The latter may be imposed unpaid leave in regions where it is compulsory, the Russian Minister of Labor announced on Saturday against the backdrop of a galloping epidemic and a sluggish immunization campaign.
“If the health authorities in a region make vaccination compulsory for certain categories of workers, an unvaccinated employee may be suspended.
The words of Anton Kotiakov, declared Saturday to the Russian media, were reproduced Sunday by the government Telegram channel monitoring the pandemic.
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The minister specified that the suspension of these employees would last for the duration of the validity of the compulsory vaccination decree.
A severity justified by the strong epidemic resurgence in the country, according to the minister.
Forced vaccination in eight regions
Faced with a surge in cases, the city of Moscow and its region were the first in Russia this week to make vaccination compulsory for workers in the service sector.
Since then, seven other local entities including St. Petersburg and its region have taken similar measures, according to Russian media.
After two consecutive days of record infections, Moscow recorded a slight ebb on Sunday with 8,305 cases recorded in 24 hours.
This is still far more than two weeks ago, when around 3,000 daily cases were recorded.
According to the authorities, this outbreak is due to the Delta variant, which appeared in India, which affects nearly 90% of new patients according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
The number of new cases, however, exceeded 1,000 in 24 hours in St. Petersburg for the first time since the end of February.
Nationally, the country has registered 17,611 new cases.
The most bereaved European country
This outbreak is favored by a laborious vaccination campaign, the Russians are overwhelmingly suspicious of vaccines, by the absence of restrictions for months and the non-compliance with the rules of distancing and the wearing of masks.
Since December and despite the availability of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, barely 13% of the population has been vaccinated according to the Gogov site, which aggregates data from the regions and the media for lack of official national statistics.
Russia is, with 129,361 deaths recorded by the government, the most bereaved European country. The statistics agency Rosstat, which has a broader definition of deaths linked to Covid, has recorded some 270,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.