Russia Registers Highest Single-day COVID-19 Deaths Since Feb. 11

Russia reported 546 deaths from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, health authorities said on Tuesday, the highest single-day figure since Feb. 11.

The nationwide death toll from COVID-19 reached 130,347, according to Russia’s coronavirus emergency task force.

Some 16,715 new cases were reported, the highest daily infections since March 4, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 5.35 million.

The total number of recoveries in Russia reached 4.88 million, with 11,117 recoveries over the past day – also the highest value since March 20.

Although Russia was the first country in the world to register a coronavirus vaccine – Sputnik V – it lags behind in the rate of vaccinated people, with only 10.38% of the population having gotten both vaccine doses.

Russia has a variety of vaccines, including Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, and CoviVac, while another is in a trial phase.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced a shortage of CoviVac vaccine on Tuesday, with authorities suspending appointments for vaccination until the delivery of the next batch of the vaccine.

Last week, several Russian regions, including Moscow and Moscow Oblast, authorities ordered mandatory vaccination for employees of the service industry, introducing penalties for non-compliance with the requirement.

Some people have voiced their dissent on mandatory vaccination.

Russian Ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova said she receives a lot of complaints that citizens who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are facing discrimination.

Asked about discrimination, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “some degree of discrimination is inevitable,” as unvaccinated people pose a threat to others.

However, he said the complaints should be thoroughly examined by the coronavirus emergency task force.

Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 3.87 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 178.8 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries.

Moscow mayor announces more restrictive measures

Sobyanin said the decision about the mandatory vaccination starts “bearing its first fruits,” the number of vaccinated Muscovites already exceeded 2 million, and people are signing up for the vaccination four to five times more often than before.

However, he added, the vaccination works slowly and the results will be seen in two to three months.

Also, the situation in the Russian capital remains “very complicated” — 14,000 people are currently at hospitals in a difficult condition, the health system works at its full capacity.

Sobyanin’s deputy Anastasia Rakova was harsher in her assessment, saying “an explosive growth” is being observed in Moscow, and the number of new cases increased almost by 100%, with the number of patients transferred from ordinary to coronavirus hospitals tripled.

To contain the further spread, the Moscow authorities decided to introduce additional restrictive measures.

Starting from June 28 only vaccinated or people with negative PCR test results or those who recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months can visit the catering venues, they have to present a QR code, received via special web portals or mobile apps, while paper certificates will not be applicable.

The eating places have to create a system of QR code checking or they will be only allowed to work for delivery or take away.

From June 22, a temporary ban is introduced on holding concerts, entertainment, and sports events with the simultaneous presence of more than 500 people — both in the open air and indoors.

Fan zones and dance floors must be closed regardless of the number of participants in the event.

But these restrictions will be lifted if the proprietors will establish a “COVID-free” zone and will allow entering only people with QR codes, confirming the protection against COVID-19.

The new restrictions do not affect concerts, performances, and showing movies in cinemas with fewer than 500 participants although the Moscow authorities recommend that their organizers use QR codes to ensure the safety of the audience.

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