Staunton, October 4 – After taking great pride in the fact that the number of new infections in Russia had dropped until a week ago below 5,000 a day, Moscow officials had to report today that there had been 10,499 new cases and 107 new deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the respective totals to 1,21 5,001 and 21,358 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1643).
Hospitalizations have risen as well, indicating that at least some of the new cases are too serious to be treated at home, although the rate of new admissions has slowed in recent days because in many places, hospitals do not have enough beds in wards designed for coronavirus victims (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/chislo-zarazivshikhsya-koronavirusom-v-rossii-obnovilo-maksimum-s-maya-1029646282 and regnum.ru/news/3080987.html).
Officials like Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin are saying that the situation has “stabilized” (regnum.ru/news/3080950.html), but many Russians fear that it hasn’t, that the second wave of the pandemic will in fact be worse than the first, and that new restrictions which they see coming mid-month will be even more draconian (ura.news/articles/1036281218, regnum.ru/news/3081042.html and lenta.ru/news/2020/10/03/virus_wave/).
Beyond the ring road, there were more increases in the pandemic and in restrictions than decreases and re-openings (regnum.ru/news/society/3077734.html), with officials reporting that three percent of the country’s schools have quarantined (regnum.ru/news/3080996.html) after more than a thousand teachers have become infected (sobkorr.org/news/5F79A728E0DE2.html).
Officials in many parts of the country are shutting down or making plans to shut down various public spaces that they had reopening only a month or two ago, with many Russians fearing just how far they may go either in copying Moscow or trying to show themselves even more vigilant (regnum.ru/news/society/3072297.html).
The coronavirus pandemic has now hit the oil and gas industry, with a daughter company of Gazprom having send up to 40 percent of its employees home lest they contract the virus (regnum.ru/news/3081057.html). Also of growing concern: doctors report that the coronavirus is having a broader range of consequences for those infected than they had thought and requiring more far longer care (lenta.ru/news/2020/10/04/covid/).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Russians have seriously reduced plans to travel abroad for New Years, tourism industry officials say, on the assumption that most countries will still be closed to Russians at that time (ura.news/news/1052452522).
· Novaya gazeta has published a remarkable gallery of pictures of the empty streets of Moscow when residents were told to stay in their homes (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2020/10/04/87366-lyubimyy-gorod-mozhet-snyat-spokoyno).