Staunton, December 20 – The yawning gap between the situation in Moscow and that in Russia beyond the ring road was highlighted again today when Moscow officials announced that new categories there could be vaccinated, including those over 60, before many regions have been able to inoculate more than a handful (echo.msk.ru/news/2760882-echo.html and regnum.ru/news/3146162.html).
Russian officials announced registering 28,948 new cases of infection and 511 new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the totals respectively to 2,848,377 and 50,858 (t.me/COVID2019_official/2217). In some places, the epidemiological situation is deteriorating but in many it has stabilized, prompting some optimism (regnum.ru/news/3146182.html and egnum.ru/news/society/3142642.html).
One place where the situation is especially dire is St. Petersburg, where officials announced that they now are down to a reserve of only 27 beds for coronavirus patients and that the city leads the country in terms of the number of residents per 1,000 over the last 30 days, with 20.9 (regnum.ru/news/3146197.html and echo.msk.ru/news/2760894-echo.html).
Complicating the lives of officials in the northern capital is a Fontanka report that different offices in the city government cannot manage to give out the same figures on even the most basic pandemic data (fontanka.ru/2020/12/19/69642371/). Meanwhile, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin asked those over 60 to avoid going to stores during the holidays (echo.msk.ru/news/2761066-echo.html
· Moscow says that the Russian vaccine is now being produced in India, Brazil, China and South Korea and used in many others (mbk-news.appspot.com/suzhet/vaktsina-za-rubezhom/).
· And Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has expressed doubts that life will return to normal in Russia before 2023 (rbc.ru/society/20/12/2020/5fdf5c4f9a79472c43269c3e).