Staunton, November 6 – More than 20,000 new cases of coronavirus infection are now being registered in Russia, the highest in this pandemic; and a leading epidemiologist says that the current high levels constitute at best a new plateau which is likely to last until the spring (versia.ru/virusolog-sprognoziroval-prodolzhitelnost-plato-po-koronavirusu-v-rossii).
More senior officials are acknowledging that the situation is dire, and today Vladimir Putin convened the Russian Security Council to discuss what to do. Afterwards, his spokesman said that new restrictions may be necessary given the increases in the number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths (regnum.ru/news/3108964.html, regnum.ru/news/3108852.html, regnum.ru/news/3108695.html kp.ru/daily/2171205.5/4317266/).
Moscow commentators are increasingly sharp in their criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic with one, Sergey Shelin, saying that the authorities didn’t anticipate, didn’t plan and don’t know what to do next (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2020/11/06/1871797.htmlsvpressa.ru/economy/article/280805/).
The government announced it had registered 20,396 new cases of infection and 364 new deaths from the coronavirus, upping the cumulative totals to 1,753,836 and 30,251 respectively (стопкоронавирус.рф/information/). But Rosstat said there have been more than 55,000 premature deaths since the pandemic began and that the monthly toll is rising (rosstat.gov.ru/folder/313/document/104590).
The pandemic is intensifying almost everywhere from the capitals to the furthest reaches of the country (regnum.ru/news/society/3107229.html). In Moscow, officials asked residents to stay at home and avoid going out into the streets as much as possible (regnum.ru/news/3109179.html and regnum.ru/news/3109064.html).
In the Moscow suburbs, all sports activities were banned (regnum.ru/news/3109026.html). And in St. Petersburg, officials called for higher educational institutions to go over to distance learning completely (regnum.ru/news/3109119.html). In the regions, schools are closing, hospitals are overfull and doctors are running out of basic medicines (7x7-journal.ru/articles/2020/11/06/v-regionah-massovo-zhaluyutsya-na-deficit-antibiotikov-vlasti-priznayut-problemu-ne-vezde).
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that 95 percent of Muscovites who had died of the coronavirus had done so after people attempted to cure the disease through self-medication (club-rf.ru/77/news/58217).
The Galamley Center has announced that it has signed agreements with six companies to produce its Sputnik-5 vaccine, and Russian officials say that Hungary has announced that it wants to purchase the Russian vaccine as soon as possible (vedomosti.ru/business/articles/2020/11/05/845980-tsentr-gamalei and vz.ru/society/2020/11/6/1069270.html
And in a rare release of data about the spread of the coronavirus in the military, the Murmansk government office released figures for the navy units based there. It reported that cases are up among command staff but down among sailors (thebarentsobserver.com/en/covid-19/2020/11/big-spread-covid-navy-headquarters-armed-forces-say-cases-are-down).