There are no blocking plans in Russia, as virus deaths reach a new record

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People are waiting in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine at a VDNKh (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) vaccination center in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, July 2, 2021. Russian health authorities on Thursday launched the Coronavirus booster vaccines for those who had been immunized more than six months ago as the country faces an increase in new infections and deaths. Credit: AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

Russian authorities reported 679 new coronavirus deaths on Friday, the fourth consecutive day, with the highest daily death toll from the pandemic.

There are no plans for a blockade, however, the Kremlin insisted.

The previous record, of 672 deaths, was recorded Thursday. Russia has struggled to cope with rising infections and deaths in recent weeks, which comes amid slow vaccination rates.

New daily infections have more than doubled in the last month, from about 9,000 in early June to more than 20,000 this week. On Friday, Russia’s state coronavirus working group reported 23,218 new infections. Moscow, its peripheral region and St. Petersburg account for almost half of the new cases.

However, authorities are not discussing a closure, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. “No one wants any blockade,” Peskov told reporters during a daily conference, admitting that the coronavirus situation in several Russian regions is “tense.”

“So that it doesn’t continue to be discussed, we all need to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Russian officials have blamed the increase in cases of lax attitude of Russians towards taking precautions, the growing prevalence of more infectious variants and slow vaccination rates. Although Russia was one of the first countries to announce and deploy a coronavirus vaccine, just over 23 million people – or 15% of its population of 146 million – have received at least one shot.

There are no blocking plans in Russia, as virus deaths reach a new record

People are waiting in line to get a coronavirus vaccine at a VDNKh (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) vaccination center in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, July 2, 2021. Russian health authorities launched on Thursday Coronavirus booster vaccines for those who had been immunized more than six months ago as the country faces an increase in new infections and deaths. Credit: AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

Experts have attributed relatively low vaccine uptake to widespread vaccination of the vaccine and limited production capacity. So far, only 36.7 million sets of the four vaccines developed nationally have been put into circulation. However, this week Russian health authorities gave their approval to boost coronavirus vaccines for people immunized more than six months ago.

Amid the latest wave of cases, nearly 20 Russian regions, from Moscow and St. Petersburg to the far-eastern region of Sakhalin, have made vaccines mandatory last month for employees in certain sectors. . It seems that the measure helped increase the momentum of vaccination in recent weeks, but it also caused a setback. Small protests against compulsory vaccinations erupted in Moscow and the Sakhalin region this week.

As of Monday, Moscow restaurants, bars and cafes can only admit vaccinated customers, who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months or who can provide a negative test in the previous 72 hours. Customers should visit a government website and get a QR code, a digital pattern designed to be read by a scanner.

  • There are no blocking plans in Russia, as virus deaths reach a new record

    A couple is waiting in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center with a QR code sign at VDNKh (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, July 2, 2021. Russian health authorities on Thursday released booster vaccines against coronavirus for those who had been immunized more than six months ago as the country faces a rise in new infections and deaths. Credit: AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

  • There are no blocking plans in Russia, as virus deaths reach a new record

    People are waiting in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center, in VDNKh (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, July 2, 2021. Russian health authorities launched Thursday Coronavirus booster vaccines for those who had it have been immunized more than six months ago as the country faces an increase in new infections and deaths. Credit: AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

  • There are no blocking plans in Russia, as virus deaths reach a new record

    People are waiting in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center of the VDNKh (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, July 2, 2021. Russian health authorities released on Thursday Booster vaccines against those they had have been immunized more than six months ago as the country faces an increase in new infections and deaths. Credit: AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

  • There are no blocking plans in Russia, as virus deaths reach a new record

    People are waiting in line to receive a coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center of the VDNKh (The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Moscow, Russia, on Friday, July 2, 2021. Russian health authorities released on Thursday Booster vaccines for those who had been immunized more than six months ago as the country faces an increase in new infections and deaths. Credit: AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

On Friday, Moscow authorities said anyone with symptoms of a respiratory infection should isolate themselves until they get a negative coronavirus test. “As of today, we will see all cases of acute respiratory infections as, most likely, a coronavirus infection,” said Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova.

Russia’s coronavirus working group has reported more than 5.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the pandemic and 136,565 deaths.

Russia had only one nationwide shutdown for six weeks last spring and authorities have largely shunned harsh restrictions that would force companies to close since. Only a Russian —The Siberian Republic of Buryatia has since had two local closures, with the last one in force since Sunday.


As infections flare up, the Siberian region imposes a two-week blockade


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