Staunton, January 15 – A group of Duma deputies has proposed that Moscow use Lenin’s mausoleum on Red Square as a center for providing coronavirus vaccines to the population, a proposal certain to upset some communists who in a week will be marking the 97th anniversary of the Bolshevik leader’s death (regnum.ru/news/3164399.html).
As the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across Russia, officials reported registering 24,715 new cases of infection pushing that number over 3.5 million since the pandemic began and 555 new deaths upping that toll to almost 65,000 (64,495) (regnum.ru/news/society/3160299.htmlt.me/COVID2019_official/2354
regnum.ru/news/3164205.html and regnum.ru/news/3164007.html). Officials did say all schools in the country would reopen for face-to-face instruction next week but added that parents could ask for distance learning if they have concerns (regnum.ru/news/3164109.html).
Russian consumer affairs chief Anna Popova says that Moscow expects to vaccinate 60 percent of the population by the end of 2021 (regnum.ru/news/3164652.html). To do that, it will have to overcome massive resistance: only 16 percent of Russians say they are committed to getting the shots with another 24 percent saying they may (https://regnum.ru/news/3163928.html).
Duma deputies have condemned plans by Sakhalin governor Valery Limarenko to give badges to those who have received their vaccines and allow them not to wear masks. Such an arrangement opens the way to enormous abuse and the further spread of the coronavirus (regnum.ru/news/3164491.html).
Moscow city has dropped requirements that people show work records in other to get shots, thus opening the way for people from outside the city to come in and get vaccinated there (kp.ru/daily/27227.5/4352919fpp.spb.ru/node/748).
On the economic front, Moscow economists are disputing Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s suggestion that Russia’s economy will recover from the pandemic-driven slump more quickly than those of other countries. That is almost certainly wrong, the experts say (regnum.ru/news/3163998.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Officials in Chita said they could not complete the construction of a new school there because pandemic restrictions meant that the expert workers needed from China could not come (regnum.ru/news/3163927.html).
· The Russian military announced that it has begun vaccinating members of the Russian peacekeeping force in Qarabagh (regnum.ru/news/3163767.html).
· Relatives of Russian prisoners are concealing coronavirus infections lest they be subject to even worse conditions, their relatives say (znak.com/2021-01-15/kurganskie_kolonii_i_sizo_v_pandemiyu_cifry_fakty_trevogi_rodnyh).