Staunton, November 4 – Russia marked National Unity Day by setting a new record for the number of cases of coronavirus infections. The number of new cases jumped 1103 from the day before to 19,768, the highest daily total ever in the pandemic (znak.com/2020-11-04/v_rossii_zafiksirovan_rekordnyy_prirost_bolnyh_koronavirusom_za_sutki_19768_chelovek).
The new number brought the cumulative total of infections in the Russian Federation to 1,693,454. The Russian authorities also reported that there had been 389 new deaths from the disease, upping that cumulative total to 29,217. Increasing, however, Russians are dismissing as too low all such figures (svpressa.ru/health/article/280514/).
And medical experts warned that unless Russians are more disciplined in practicing self-protection measures like wearing a mask and observing social distance, the pandemic is likely to continue at its current rate or even go higher and to do so well into 2021 and even beyond (versia.ru/v-rospotrebnadzore-vystupili-s-prognozom-o-snizhenii-zabolevaemosti-koronavirusom and ura.news/news/1052457197).
Schools and most public institutions were closed today in honor of the holiday, but the more limited number of reports coming in from across Russia suggest that there is no sign that the pandemic is easing. Instead, they suggest that it may be getting worse and that officials are tightening controls in response (regnum.ru/news/society/3101964.html).
In Sverdlovsk Oblast, officials said they will copy Moscow and use cell phones to keep track of the movement of coronavirus victims (ura.news/news/1052457105). Such official invasiveness has outraged many, and Covid dissidents in Tyumen tried to stop the operation of a clinic treating the infected there (vsluh-ru.turbopages.org/vsluh.ru/s/news/crime/363358).
Some hospitals are running out of medicines and especially oxygen, with observers suggesting that the failure of officials to prepare for the second wave means that the situation in some future third wave may be even worse (tayga.info/161174 and svpressa.ru/economy/article/280524/).
On the economic front, experts said Russia will not have enough low-skilled workers again until after the pandemic (rbc.ru/economics/03/11/2020/5f9bf5269a794771485ceb51), and the government announced that it will provide subsidies to the automobile industry next year amounting to 17.5 billion rubles (300 million US dollars) (regnum.ru/news/3106699.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· A doctor said that those who drink after becoming infected are likely to suffer a more severe variant of the coronavirus infection (regnum.ru/news/3106667.html).
· Duma deputies say involving student volunteers in the treatment of coronavirus victims is “a crime against sick people” and also against the volunteers (regions.ru/news/2629018/).
· The health ministry said a group of coronavirus patients lying on the floor in a hospital were protesting rather than having been put there because there were no beds (znak.com/2020-11-04/mizdrav_zayavil_chto_pacienty_kovidnogo_gospitalya_v_vologde_lezhali_na_polu_v_znak_protesta).