Staunton, January 16 – Consumer affairs chief Anna Popova says that Moscow would like to vaccinate 80 to 90 percent of Russians by the end of 2021, but experts say having even 60 percent of Russians get the shots would be “an extremely serious achievement” (versia.ru/v-rf-za-sutki-zafiksirovali-bolee-24-tysyach-novyx-sluchaev-zabolevaniya-covid-19-i-rekordnoe-chislo-smertej).
As the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country, Moscow reported registering 24,092 new cases of infection and 590 new coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours (t.me/COVID2019_official/2359regnum.ru/news/society/3160299.html
The city of Moscow expanded the list of those who can get the vaccine to include the self-employed and also increased the number of places where people can get the shots (regnum.ru/news/3164842.html and kp.ru/daily/27227.5/4353289). Debates broke out over whether to include vaccination information in workers’ records (regnum.ru/news/3164974.html).
On the economic front, new bankruptcy statistics show that the economic crisis is hitting individual Russians far harder than businesses. Bankruptcies among the former have risen by 72 percent while those among businesses have fallen by 20 percent over the last year (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/83096).
According to a PriceWaterhouseCooper survey, nearly 20 percent of Russian businesses say that the pandemic hasn’t affected their operations and 17 percent more say that they have now returned to a pre-crisis situation (pro.rbc.ru/demo/5fe5a7319a7947cab4e966ba).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-connected developments in Russia today
Medical experts say that those who recover from the virus are often suffering delayed effects which make it difficult for them to return to work (svpressa.ru/society/article/287003/).
Because of uncertainties, Russians have withdrawn much of their money from banks and now have an unprecedented amount in cash on hand, making predictions about their future spending far more difficult (echo.msk.ru/news/2774754-echo.html).
Russian analysts are now focused on how various countries, including Russia, may use their production of vaccines as instruments in geopolitical struggles (vz.ru/opinions/2021/1/16/1080196.html).