Russia will fail in its goal of vaccinating 60% of its population against the coronavirus during the autumn (boreal), admitted the Kremlin, while the country registered its highest number of deaths in a single day on Tuesday.
“It is clear that we will not reach 60%”, said the spokesman for the Russian presidency, Dmitri Peskov, referring to the goal set in the spring by Vladimir Putin.
“The number of people who want to get vaccinated just started to increase this week, “added Peskov, without providing figures.
In Russia, the population distrusts vaccines developed in the country, like Sputnik V, which partly explains this failure.
QR code to enter to eat at a local in Moscow. Photo EFE
“We note a significant increase in the vaccination rate,” said Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health, adding that 23 million Russians, out of 146 million, have received at least one dose, but without specifying the rate of inoculation growth that this represents during a given period.
He further stated that there are currently enough doses available in the country to immunize 32 million people.
Many regions, facing a third epidemic wave that has swept across Russia since mid-June, have made the vaccination compulsory for certain groups of the population, in particular according to professional categories.
“More and more citizens have become aware” of the need to be vaccinated, the Kremlin spokesman had commented.
The Delta variant
For the health authorities, it is the only response to permanently curb the coronavirus and its Delta variant, which appeared in India, and responsible for the third wave in Russia.
The government reported Tuesday that a total of 652 people died by covid-19 in the last 24 hours, a record figure since the beginning of the epidemic.
“There are 182,000 (hospital) beds and 151,000 patients are being treated,” he said at the government meeting devoted to the new increase in infections due to the Delta variant of the pandemic, Murashko said. It is about 83% of the beds available in the country.
“The situation is tense, especially in big cities, “he added.
Saint Petersburg, the second city and which will host a match of the quarterfinals of the football Eurocup on Friday, registered 119 deaths.
Moscow, the main focus of infections and deaths, counted 121 dead this Tuesday.
The Moscow situation continues to be “extremely difficult”said the mayor, Sergei Sobianin, who reported on almost 15,000 occupied beds, considering this level “extremely high, given that a significant part (of the patients) are in a serious or very serious situation, in intensive care.”
“The authorities have verified 20,616 new infections in a single day across the country.
In total, Russia already regrets 134,545 deaths, which makes it the most affected European country, according to government statistics. However, the statistics agency Rosstat, which has a broader definition regarding deaths related to covid-19, already registered some 270,000 deaths at the end of April.
Sobianin has imposed restrictions in the last two weeks in the capital, the first in almost six months, but as during the winter surge, he rejects any type of strict confinement to preserve the economy.
In an attempt to contain the epidemic, Moscow reimposed teleworking to at least 30% of non-vaccinated employees, made vaccination mandatory for service sector workers and created a health card for restaurants.