Russia’s daily death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 1,000 for the first time as the country faces a sustained wave of rising infections.
The national coronavirus task force on Saturday reported 1,002 deaths in the previous day, up from 999 on Friday, along with 33,208 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 higher than the day before.
Authorities have tried to speed up the pace of vaccination with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine skepticism and conflicting signals from officials stymied the efforts.
The government said this week that about 43 million Russians, or about 29 percent of the country’s nearly 146 million people, are fully vaccinated.
Despite the mounting toll, the Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide lockdown like the one early on in the pandemic that badly hurt the economy, eroding President Vladimir Putin’s popularity. Instead, it has delegated the power to enforce coronavirus restrictions to regional authorities.
Some of Russia’s 85 regions have restricted attendance at large public events and limited access to theaters, restaurants, and other venues.
However, daily life is going on largely as normal in Moscow, St. Petersburg and many other Russian cities, with businesses operating as usual and mask mandates loosely enforced.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko acknowledged this week that medical facilities have come under growing strain and said that authorities have offered retired medics who have gotten vaccinated the option of returning to work.
Overall, the coronavirus task force has registered more than 7,958,000 confirmed cases and 222,315 deaths — Europe’s highest death toll. The official record ranks Russia as having the fifth-most pandemic deaths in the world following the United States, Brazil, India, and Mexico.
However, state statistics agency Rosstat, which also counts deaths in which the virus wasn’t considered the main cause, has reported a much higher pandemic death toll — about 418,000 people with COVID-19 as of August. Based on that higher number, Russia would rank be the fourth hardest-hit nation in the world, ahead of Mexico.
Coronavirus: Cases in Russia’s Moscow spike amid fears of new COVID-19 waveNew coronavirus cases in Moscow on Thursday reached the highest level since late June, raising fears of a new wave of cases in the world’s fourth most ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Russia to register second COVID-19 vaccine by OctoberRussia expects to register a second potential vaccine against COVID-19 by October 15, the TASS news agency cited Russian consumer safety watchdog ... Coronavirus
Russia to sell 100 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V to IndiaRussia’s sovereign wealth fund has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik-V, to Indian drug company Dr Reddy’s ... Coronavirus
Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine safe, created immune response in all recipientsThe Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine currently in clinical trials is safe, and the vaccine has created an immune response in 100 percent of volunteer ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Scientists see downsides to top COVID-19 vaccines from Russia, ChinaHigh-profile COVID-19 vaccines developed in Russia and China share a potential shortcoming: They are based on a common cold virus that many people ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Russian COVID-19 vaccine passes its early trial tests, says LancetPatients involved in early tests of a Russian coronavirus vaccine developed antibodies with “no serious adverse events”, according to research ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Russia’s COVID-19 cases pass 1 million, fourth highest in the worldRussia’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Tuesday as authorities reported 4,729 new cases.With a total of 1,000,048 ... Coronavirus