On Tuesday, Russia set a new daily record for coronavirus deaths, as the fast spreading virus put strain on the country’s health-care system.
Over the previous 24 hours, the government task force recorded 1,015 coronavirus deaths, the highest number since the outbreak began. The overall death toll now stands at 225,325 – by far the greatest in Europe. It also counted 33,740 new infections on the previous day.
The number of daily coronavirus deaths has been rising for weeks, and it surpassed 1,000 for the first time over the weekend, owing to low vaccination rates and the government’s unwillingness to tighten regulations.
Russian authorities have used lotteries, prizes, and other incentives to speed up vaccinations, but widespread vaccine skepticism and contradictory signals from officials have hindered their efforts. According to the task force, around 45 million Russians, or 32% of the country’s almost 146 million inhabitants, are completely vaccinated.
The Kremlin has ruled out a fresh countrywide lockdown, similar to the one imposed early in the epidemic, which hit the economy hard and hurt President Vladimir Putin’s popularity. It has given officials in each of the country’s 11 time zones the authority to impose limitations based on the local context.
Many of Russia’s 85 regions have already restricted entry to theaters, restaurants, and other places, as well as restricting attendance at big public events.
Beginning Nov. 1, St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, joined others in demanding digital codes showing vaccination or recovery from infection to get entrance to conferences and sporting events. Starting Nov. 15, such codes will be required at cinemas, theaters, museums, and gyms, and they will be required at restaurants, cafés, and certain businesses starting Dec. 1.
After Moscow, where authorities have so far refrained from tightening coronavirus restrictions despite the rising caseload, the city has recorded the second-highest number of new cases in the country, and daily life in the capital has mostly continued as normal.
The government task force has recorded nearly 8 million illnesses, and according to the official COVID-19 toll, Russia ranks sixth in the globe in terms of pandemic fatalities, trailing only the United States, Brazil, India, and Mexico.