No Lockdown Plans In Russian Authorities As Virus Deaths Hit New Record

MOSCOW — Russian authorities recorded 679 new coronavirus fatalities on Friday, the highest daily death toll in the epidemic for the fourth day in a row.

The Kremlin, on the other hand, claimed that no plans for a lockdown are being considered.

The previous high was 672 fatalities, which occurred on Thursday. In recent weeks, Russia has struggled to cope with a rise in illnesses and fatalities, which has coincided with poor immunization rates.

Over the last month, daily new infections have more than quadrupled, rising from approximately 9,000 in early June to over 20,000 this week. The official coronavirus task force in Russia recorded 23,218 new contagions on Friday. Nearly half of all new cases are in Moscow, its outskirts, and St. Petersburg.

However, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated Friday that the authorities are not considering a lockdown. “No one wants any lockdowns,” Peskov said during a daily conference call with reporters, acknowledging that the coronavirus situation in a number of Russian areas is “tense.”

“In order for it to remain unmentioned, we must all get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

The surge in infections has been attributed to Russians’ lackadaisical attitude toward taking measures, the increasing frequency of more virulent variations, and poor vaccination rates, according to Russian officials. Despite the fact that Russia was one of the first countries to disclose and distribute a coronavirus vaccination, only around 23 million people — or 15% of the country’s 146 million inhabitants — have gotten at least one dose.

Experts say widespread vaccination apprehension and inadequate production capacity are to blame for the poor vaccine uptake. So yet, only 36.7 million sets of the four locally produced vaccinations have been distributed. Nonetheless, Russian health officials approved booster coronavirus vaccines for those who were last vaccinated more than six months ago this week.

Approximately 20 Russian districts, ranging from Moscow and St. Petersburg to the isolated far-eastern province of Sakhalin, made vaccines mandatory for employees in specific industries last month in response to the recent increase in cases. The decision seems to have aided the vaccination effort in recent weeks, but it also drew criticism. This week, small anti-vaccination rallies occurred in Moscow and the Sakhalin area.

Restaurants, pubs, and cafés in Moscow can only accept clients who have been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months, or have a negative test within the preceding 72 hours as of Monday. Customers must first get a QR code, which is a digital pattern that can be read by a scanner, by visiting a government website.

Moscow officials warned on Friday that anybody who has signs of a respiratory ailment should self-isolate at least until a coronavirus test comes back negative. “As of today, we shall treat all instances of severe respiratory illnesses as coronavirus infection,” stated Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova.

More than 5.5 million verified coronavirus cases and 136,565 fatalities have been documented by Russia’s coronavirus task force during the epidemic.

Last spring, Russia experienced only one six-week countrywide shutdown, and since then, the authorities have mainly avoided harsh restrictions that would force enterprises to close. Only one Russian area, the Siberian republic of Buryatia, has been subjected to two local lockdowns, the most recent of which began on Sunday.

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