Russia is fighting the third wave of COVID-19, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.
Russia reported 752 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, which is a national record for the number of pandemic-related deaths in the country in 24 hours, as the country is fighting the third wave of coronavirus.
Russia has now created a record high of seven new coronavirus deaths in the past 12 days as it is battling a surge in outbreaks caused by highly contagious delta variants and slow vaccination campaigns.
According to statistics from Agence France-Presse, the number of official virus cases in the country exceeded 5.75 million on Saturday, making it the fifth worst-hit country in the world.
According to the Gogov website that counts coronavirus data in various regions, as of Saturday, only 18.9 million of the approximately 146 million people in Russia have been vaccinated.
In Moscow, the epicenter of the Russian outbreak, although free vaccination has been provided since December last year, only 1.8 million of the city’s approximately 12 million people have been vaccinated.
The authorities are facing people who are skeptical of vaccines. An independent poll this week showed that 54% of Russians do not plan to get COVID-19.
“The Christian Science Monitor” Moscow correspondent Fred Weir told Al Jazeera: “The Russian system is able to produce a very good vaccine and did it very early, which is ironic, but they are totally unable to convince the population to accept it. .
“The vaccination rate here is as high as 16%, which is far behind most developed countries. Even in Moscow, where there are more educated international populations, the proportion is only about 20%.
“The government is doing everything it can to get people vaccinated, but the Russians are a bit taciturn.”
According to Will, senior citizens who do not trust the country are skeptical. “Most of the most vulnerable seniors refuse to do this,” Will said.
Moscow pick up
Despite the challenges, after Moscow’s Mayor Sergey Sobyanin required 60% of service workers to be fully vaccinated by mid-August last month, the pace of vaccination continued to accelerate, and some regions in Russia have since Have followed suit.
On Friday, Sobyanin said that by the end of the weekend, 3.5 million Muscovites will receive at least the first dose of the vaccine.
The mayor also ordered the office in the Russian capital to send one-third of unvaccinated employees and restaurants home, allowing only customers who have been vaccinated or infected in the past six months to enter.
However, the Kremlin refused to compulsory vaccination for all populations, and also rejected the proposal to re-impose the national lockdown.
Russia has 142,253 deaths from the virus, the country with the highest number of official coronavirus deaths in Europe-even though the authorities have been accused of downplaying the severity of the country’s outbreak.
Based on a broader definition of coronavirus-related deaths, the statistical agency Rosstat stated at the end of April that there were at least 270,000 deaths in Russia.