Staunton, July 23 – Even though Russian officials insist that the coronavirus situation is improving and that the country will avoid a second wave in the fall, Aleksey Zubets, head of the Finance University’s Institute for Socio-Economic Research, says that he sees signs that the pandemic is beginning “a counterattack” in Russia (regnum.ru/news/3018009.html).
Despite his own upbeat assessments, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin says that the virus remains “very dangerous” – he himself has been infected – and that he is not about to let up. To that end, he says, no senior officials will get vacations this year so that they can be present to fight the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3017910.html and regnum.ru/news/3018010.html).
Officials counted 5848 new cases and 147 deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours (regnum.ru/news/3017891.html and regnum.ru/news/3017815.html). But yet more government reports showed that both of these are significant undercounts if not today than for the pandemic as a whole (https://petrostat.gks.ru/storage/mediabank/tzVcwzHx/).
Russian officials also reported that the total number of people tested in Russia now exceeds 26 million (regnum.ru/news/3017654.html). The health ministry said vaccinations will begin in August, something possible because Russia began working on a vaccine already in February (regnum.ru/news/3018387.html and regnum.ru/news/3017952.html).
Regnum’s daily survey of the country’s regions found that in some places the pandemic is receding and restrictions are being lifted while in others it is getting worse and officials are being forced to reimpose restrictions they had lifted. Karelia is now one of the latter (regnum.ru/news/society/3016015.html and interfax.ru/russia/718612
finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/mishustin-prizval-rossiyan-ne-volnovatsya-posle-rekordnogo-s-1990kh-obvala-dokhodov-1029423951 and facebook.com/vladislavl.inozemtsev/posts/3083238431786694).
Meanwhile, in two other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Russia’s consumer affairs agency has launched a COVID-19 PREPRINTS portal to speed dissemination of information on new developments and best practices in fighting the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3017519.html).
· And Russian cities are beginning to see the impact of summer travel: Russians from St. Petersburg who went to Russian-occupied Crimea, reportedly have been bringing back the infection with them on their return (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/in-the-leningrad-region-recorded-imported-cases-covid-19-from-the-crimea/).