Staunton, January 27 – Rosstat, the Russian government’s statistical agency, says that the decline in industrial production in the country stopped in December and that the rate of decline for 2020 as a whole was only 2.9 percent and not the four to five percent other analysts had suggested (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/83293 and krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/83278).
And the IMF increased its projected growth in Russia’s GDP for the coming year, simultaneously providing Vladimir Putin with good news at the time of his presentation to the Davos conference and raising spirits among investors and ordinary Russians (regnum.ru/news/3174810.html).
These feelings were further boosted by another decline in the number of new cases of coronavirus infection to 17,741 over the last 24 hours, but deaths from the disease remained high, at 594 today and in many places officials tightened restrictions to try to bring the pandemic under control (t.me/COVID2019_official/2403 and regnum.ru/news/society/3170739.html).
One reason the decline in infections is especially welcome is that many had projected there would be a post-holiday bump. But the fact that most Russians did not travel but celebrated at home (regnum.ru/news/3174775.html) and increasingly widespread vaccinations kept the numbers from going up in most places and send the overall figures down (regnum.ru/news/3174035.html).
The situation in the capital seems to have improved the most, with officials saying that “at a minimum,” half of its residents now have immunity (regnum.ru/news/3174232.html and regnum.ru/news/3174428.html). That has allowed officials to lift many restrictions and promise to lift others in the near future (regnum.ru/news/3174188.html, sovsekretno.ru/news/v-moskve-otmenili-trebovanie-o-perevode-30-personala-kompanii-na-distantsionku/, regnum.ru/news/3174194.html, regnum.ru/news/3174213.html and regnum.ru/news/3175106.html).
It is becoming easier and easier for Russians in major cities at least to get the vaccination, although in some regions, far too few doses have been delivered to meet the need (ng.ru/moscow/2021-01-27/2_8067_msk27012021.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3170739.html).
One individual who could easily get the shots whenever he wants to still hasn’t: President Vladimir Putin (regnum.ru/news/3174721.html).
On the economic front, Moscow officials reported that the city budget has suffered a loss of almost 700 billion rubles (10 billion US dollars) over the last year because of the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3175103.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related news in Russia today,
· A dangerous trend has developed with some regions rushing to reopen despite figures suggesting they shouldn’t in the hopes of attracting more tourists and generating economic growth (regnum.ru/news/3174092.html).
· The Moscow Patriarchate reported that 3915 of its priests and other religious have been infected with the coronavirus and that 144 of them have died (regnum.ru/news/3175077.html).
· A new report says Russians are now using social media during the week far more often than they did before the pandemic and are in fact using such outlets somewhat less during the weekends than before (polit.ru/article/2021/01/27/socmedia/).
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