COVID-19: Russia sets new record for coronavirus cases



Russia reported its highest daily number of COVID-19 infections on Sunday, more than 70% higher than a month ago, amid a continued boom in cases in the country.

The Fighting Team coronavirus said Sunday that 34,303 new cases had been registered the day before, compared to 20,174 reported on September 19.

The death toll, 999, was slightly below the record of 1,002 deaths set on Saturday.

Russian authorities have tried to accelerate the pace of vaccinations with lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread skepticism towards vaccines and mixed signals from the authorities complicated their efforts. The government said this week that 43 million Russians, or about 29% of the country’s 146 million people, have completed their vaccination.

Confinements ruled out despite increased cases

Despite the growing number of victims, the Kremlin has ruled out a new national quarantine such as the one at the beginning of the pandemic, which dealt a severe blow to the economy and undermined the popularity of the president, Vladimir Putin. Instead, it has delegated to regional authorities the powers to impose restrictions against the coronavirus.

Some of Russia’s 85 regions have restricted seating at large public events and limited access to theaters, restaurants and other venues. However, life goes on as usual in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and many other Russian cities.

The highest concentrations of cases were mostly in western Russia, relatively more urbanized, and in the developed areas of the Pacific coast, such as Vladivostok and Khabarovsk. However, la sparsely populated Siberian region of Sakha and Chukotka, in the remote northeast of the country, also have high rates with more than 150 infections per 100,000 people during seven days.

In total, the COVID-19 team has recorded more than 7.99 million confirmed cases and 223,312 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe. The official figure makes Russia the fifth country in the world with the most victims, behind the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.

However, the state statistical agency Rosstat, which also counts deaths in which the virus is not considered a main cause, has reported a much higher cost of the pandemic, about 418 thousand deaths with COVID-19 until August. According to that sum, Russia would be the fourth most affected country in the world, ahead of Mexico.

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