Staunton, September 13 – Initial reports from regions and cities where elections are being held today showed that some election officials have used the excuse of having to clean voting areas as a way of excluding observers from watching how the votes are being registered (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/profilaktika-koronavirusa/).
How justified their actions have been and how widespread this practice is are as yet unknown, but it is clear that the ability to clear out voting places provides local officials with yet another way to cover up falsifications and that this will further undermine confidence in the election procedures.
Despite the elections, the central Russian staff continued to offer its daily update on the number of infections and deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. According to today’s figures, 5449 new cases of infection were registered bringing that total to 1,062,811 and 94 additional deaths upping that toll to 18,578 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1489).
The Russian health ministry described the situation with regard to the pandemic as “sufficiently stable” but acknowledged that “in certain regions” there had been “a small growth” in the numbers of infections (regnum.ru/news/3062021.html). Reports from the regions, however, showed that in some places, the upsurge was quite large.
Among the increases were in schools in many parts of the country (regnum.ru/news/3061836.html). And officials in the Transbaikal are so alarmed by increases that they have banned all large meetings once again after having relaxed restrictions last month (regnum.ru/news/3061510.html).
And there were three developments on the vaccine front: First, Russian Orthodox hierarchs urged people to be vaccinated against the coronavirus but many of the religious said they personally were refraining from doing so, adding to their widespread reputation for hypocrisy (credo.press/232963/).
Second, medical experts said it might be “years” before a vaccine against the coronavirus for children would be released because no one would want to do so until after extensive testing, yet another sign of how rushed the release of a vaccine for adults has been in the Russian Federation (ura.news/news/1052449520).
And third, medical experts conceded that they simply don’t know yet which of the two Russian vaccines, Sputnik 5 or EliVakKorona, is the more effective. The answer to that will have to wait until more people are tested, yet another reason why some Russians will delay getting inoculated (kp.ru/daily/217181.5/4286591/).