Staunton, January 30 – The Iranian embassy in Moscow says that the Russian government will be delivering three batches of its Sputnik-5 coronavirus vaccine to Iran, on February 4th, 18th and 28th, perhaps the largest Russian export program yet to any foreign country (en.irna.ir/news/84203845/Iranian-health-official-announces-approval-of-Sputnik-vaccines).
Russian officials today reported that they have registered 19.032 new cases of infection and 512 new deaths from the coronavirus. Both figures are down from recent highs, but despite that overall progress, there are many places in the Russian Federation where the pandemic continues at high levels (t.me/COVID2019_official/2419 and regnum.ru/news/society/3176513.html).
The situation has eased particularly in St. Petersburg, with fewer coronavirus beds in hospitals now occupied and officials planning to follow Moscow in opening up the city to more normal operations (regnum.ru/news/3177735.html and snob.ru/news/vlasti-sankt-peterburga-vsled-za-moskvoj-razreshili-zavedeniyam-obshepita-rabotat-po-nocham/).
But officials in the northern capital complain that they have received only enough vaccine doses to immunize one to two percent of the population and express concern that as a result, a new wave of infections may return at any time. They are especially angry because they have set up the facilities to administer the vaccine (regnum.ru/news/3177760.html).
Across the North Caucasus, all the non-Russian republics except Daghestan, the largest, are reporting that conditions have stabilized (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/v-skfo-tolko-dagestan-ne-zayavil-o-stabilizatsii-situatsii-s-koronavirusom/). Meanwhile, Moscow has ordered that all higher educational institutions return to face-to-face classwork by February 7 (tass.ru/obschestvo/10575537).
The health ministry has allocated 66 million rubles (one million US dollars) to the Gamaley Center which developed the Saturn-5 vaccine to come up with two new medications to prevent the infection (ura.news/news/1052469403). But in the face of so much optimism, some doctors are worried that the future in Russia may not remain as bright as it now appears (svpressa.ru/society/article/288544/).
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