Staunton, October 24 – The coronavirus pandemic has spread so widely, Agasi Tavadyan of the Moscow Center for Economic Research says, that not a single federal subject is in “a green zone,” one showing improvements, most are in the “yellow” range, while eight or about 10 percent are in the “red” or danger zone (ura.news/news/1052455643).
Meanwhile, experts are predicting that the current upsurge in new infections will soon rise to 20,000 a day, twice the number recorded in the first wave of the pandemic last spring (versia.ru/yeksperty-sprognozirovali-masshtaby-pika-zabolevaemosti-koronavirusom), and others are saying the winter months may prove to be even worse than that (versia.ru/rossiyan-predupredili-o-neprostoj-zime-iz-za-koronavirusa).
And even if mass vaccination does begin as soon as the government has suggested, specialists say that there won’t be any significant decline in these numbers or the number of deaths until February-March 2021 at the earliest. If people don’t take precautions and don’t get vaccinated, the situation could continue dire for much longer (regnum.ru/news/3098170.html).
Today’s numbers, while not records, are bad enough. The Russian authorities registered 16,521 new cases of infection and 296 more coronavirus deaths, upping these totals respectively to 1,497,167 and 25,812 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1825).
Despite these numbers, however, officials said there were no plans to shut down air connections with foreign countries or otherwise close Russia’s borders (meduza.io/news/2020/10/24/opershtab-ne-budet-rekomendovat-povtorno-zakryvat-mezhdunarodnoe-aviasoobschenie-iz-za-koronavirusa).
And the Russian education minister said that there had been no new outbreaks of coronavirus infection in Russian schools and that the situation in them was entirely under control (regnum.ru/news/3098123.html).
In other pandemic-related developments from Russia today,
· Moscow loosened controls over the distribution of medications because of popular anger about shortages in many places (rbc.ru/society/24/10/2020/5f93f4279a79474404d360ac).
· Some Russian cities are putting up banners designed to frighten Russians into wearing masks and getting vaccinated (agoniya.eu/archives/9248).
· And Moscow efforts to promote domestic tourism are running into problems in many regions because of the lack of infrastructure there and high domestic airfares (eastrussia.ru/material/koronakrizis-obnazhil-problemy-turotrasli-dalnego-vostoka/).