Russia Monitor is a review of the most important events related to Russian internal and external security, as well as its foreign policies.
Date: 31 August 2021
Russia Faces Renewed Covid-19 Surge
While many countries around the globe are experiencing the fourth Covid-19 wave, Russia is still struggling with the third one. Russia saw the highest monthly coronavirus death toll of the pandemic in July 2021, with 50,000 people dying from Covid-19.
Of nearly 39,000 fatalities, some 11,000 were from Covid-19 and related diseases, according to Russia’s Federal Statistics Agency Rosstat. Russia has recently reported nearly 20,000 new infections per day. The Delta variant is expected to account for 70 percent of all new cases in the country. Although Russian federal officials say they have no problem with vaccine shortage, leaks from a closed meeting at the health ministry show that as many as nine regions lack the vaccine. Russia registered its fifth coronavirus vaccine, EpiVacCorona-N. The country’s federal authorities blamed regional officials for being inefficient while tackling the pandemic. Russian authorities have long preferred not to curb economic activity. Vaccines are thus the top tool for fighting the pandemic. But many Russians refuse to be inoculated while in many places there is a shortage of vaccines. In some regions, there are compulsory vaccination campaigns for some jobs. Regional authorities deal with a pandemic in different ways. In the Voronezh region, only the vaccinated are allowed to get married. In St. Petersburg, just 35 percent of people aged 60 years old or more have been inoculated. Nearly 22 percent of population received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Russia as of mid-August. Russia introduces some incentives to have the vaccination, but these are unlikely to convince the Russians. The country will launch a nationwide lottery for citizens who are vaccinated, according to an order signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. One thousand winners will be randomly selected to receive cash prizes of 100,000 roubles ($1,400).
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