July 9, 2021 5:00:23 pm
Moscow’s mayor said the Covid-19 situation was gradually stabilising after a surge in infections blamed on the more contagious Delta variant, but the new daily case tally remained high nationwide on Thursday.
The coronavirus task force reported 24,818 new cases in the last 24 hours, including 6,040 in the capital. Russia also reported 734 coronavirus-related deaths, close to a record daily high.
Around 66 percent of Covid-19 cases that Russia identified in June and early July were the Delta variant, Anna Popova, consumer health watchdog head, was quoted by the TASS news agency. Popova said only 0.7 percent of Russians who were fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus caught it again.
Officials have been scrambling to encourage or compel Russians to get vaccinated since infections began rising steeply last month. Demand for vaccination had been tepid, but authorities say it has now picked up significantly. Adding to concerns about Russian vaccines, Sputnik V in particular, was a lack of recognition by some Western nations.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Facebook account that calls from European nations such as France
to “say no” to Russian vaccines were “unacceptable”, or a hybrid of “racism, imperial hegemony and neo-Nazism”.
The mayor of Moscow, Russia’s worst-hit region throughout the pandemic, told residents that hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients were still very high, though down slightly from a peak last week.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the city of more than 12.5 million was now vaccinating around 100,000 people a day, giving
authorities room not to impose new restrictions. Police in Moscow said they had opened 55 criminal cases over fake certificates for vaccinations and PCR tests. Moscow residents need to be able to prove they have had a vaccine, a negative test or immunity to be able to visit cafes or bars.
An online black market has sprung up to meet the demand for people who still do not want to get vaccinated. Police in the Kaliningrad region detained a health worker on Wednesday for allegedly selling vaccination certificates.
Russia has confirmed 5,707,452 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began 18 months ago.
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