Russia | Russian authorities reported Wednesday that about 83 percent of hospital beds earmarked for COVID-19 patients are full, despite daily counts of new infections and deaths remaining at all-time highs.
As of Tuesday morning, 82.8 percent of the 301,500 hospital beds earmarked for coronavirus patients were full, according to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who spoke at a government meeting on Wednesday.
“We can’t definitely declare that the situation has stabilized and the spread of illness has decreased,” Golikova, the head of the country’s state coronavirus task force, said at a government meeting on Wednesday.
The task force set a new record for coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, with 1,239, up from 1,211 on Tuesday. In addition, officials reported 38,058 new illnesses. Since late October, about 40,000 cases and over 1,100 deaths have been reported every day.
Low vaccination rates, weak public attitudes toward taking measures, and the government’s reluctance to tighten regulations are all contributing to Russia’s autumn rise in diseases and deaths.
Despite the fact that Russia approved a locally made COVID-19 vaccine months before most countries, just about 40% of the country’s almost 146 million people have been properly immunized.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order for many Russians to take off work between October 30 and November 7. He gave regional administrations the authority to increase the number of non-working days if they deemed it essential, but only five Russian regions have done so.
Others have limited admission to restaurants, theatres, and other public areas to people who have been fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months, or tested negative within the preceding 72 hours.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said earlier this week that it is still too early to tell whether the non-working period is paying off.
Authorities in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city and the country’s second hardest-hit region, declared vaccines mandatory for individuals over 60 and those with chronic conditions on Tuesday. Residents of St. Petersburg who fall into one of the two categories must obtain their first shot by Dec. 15 and finish their vaccine by Jan. 15.
Russia presently offers four domestically manufactured vaccinations, the most popular of which are Sputnik V and its one-dose form, Sputnik Light.
Because it had only been tested on a few dozen people at the time, Sputnik V was approved last August to much hoopla at home and criticism abroad. However, according to a research published in the British medical journal The Lancet in February, the Sputnik V vaccine is 91 percent effective and appears to protect inoculated people from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.
EpiVacCorona and CoviVac, two other Russian vaccines, have also won regulatory permission ahead of late-stage trials that experts believe are required to guarantee their safety and effectiveness in accordance with recognised scientific practise. The findings of these trials have yet to be released by the developers of both games.
Russia’s state coronavirus task force has reported 8.9 million confirmed illnesses and 250,454 deaths, far and away the largest death toll in Europe, according to some experts.
Rosstat reports, which record coronavirus-related deaths retroactively, reveal substantially higher mortality rates: Between April 2020 and September this year, 462,000 persons with COVID-19 perished.
The task force, according to Russian officials, exclusively considers deaths in which COVID-19 was the primary cause and uses data from medical facilities. Rosstat counts virus-related deaths using broader criteria and obtains its data from civil registry offices where death registration is completed.