Russia continue to refuse to impose a total lockdown despite the record daily Covid-19 deaths and surging case numbers.
People are still celebrating and gathering at Moscow’s streets, bars and nightclubs.
This came as the country is quickly running out of hospital beds.
Russia topped the symbolic figure of 1,000 daily deaths for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The country hit a new record in infection numbers on Monday with 34,325 cases reported.
Russia’s chief doctor, Denis Protsenko, described the situation on Friday as “near critical”, with vaccinations at a standstill.
But despite the surging deaths and cases, the Kremlin has ruled out a nationwide lockdown.
Overall, Russia’s coronavirus task force has registered more than 7.8 million confirmed cases and 218,345 deaths. The numbers are the highest death toll in Europe.
Yet the state statistics agency Rosstat has reported a much higher total – about 418,000 deaths of people with COVID-19.
Russia has blamed the sharp rise in infections and deaths that began last month on a slow vaccination rate.
Only 47.8 million Russians, or almost 33 percent of its nearly 146 million people, have received at least one shot of a coronavirus vaccine.
Speaking at a meeting with newly-elected Russian lawmakers, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasised on Tuesday the importance of broad vaccination and urged lawmakers to help encourage the population to get the shots.
“We must patiently and persistently work with people and explain all the advantages of prophylactics against that dangerous disease,” Putin said, noting that the population must be persuaded to get the shots without resorting to administrative pressure.