Staunton, January 25 – Russian police arrested Navalny protesters in Moscow for among other things “violating sanitary norms” regarding the pandemic (snob.ru/news/smi-v-moskve-vozbudili-delo-o-narushenii-sanitarnyh-norm-iz-za-prisutstvovavshih-na-protestah-bolnyh-covid-19/ and meduza.io/news/2021/01/25/v-moskve-posle-protestov-v-podderzhku-navalnomu-vozbudili-ugolovnoe-delo-iz-za-narusheniya-karantina).
Since then, in an obvious effort to discourage Russians from taking part in future protests, officials have played up the risks of infection anyone who takes part in demonstrations faces (regnum.ru/news/3172599.html). But in what may be a related development, jailors are now permitting people to visit those in detention again (mskagency.ru/materials/3081457).
Also today, Vladimir Putin spoke about the pandemic, declaring that the epidemiological situation in Russia was stabilizing (regnum.ru/news/3172349.html), that restrictions could begin to be lifted (rbc.ru/society/25/01/2021/600ea8b99a7947017c47653b?from=from_main_1), but that distance learning had affected educational attainment (regnum.ru/news/polit/3172323.html).
Russian officials reported registering 19,920 new cases of infection over the last 24 hours, the lowest total in almost three months, as well as 456 new deaths, also a decline from recent days (t.me/COVID2019_official/2394). They also said that Russia had administered just under 100 million coronavirus tests (https://regnum.ru/news/3171978.html).
The situation has eased in both capitals (https://regnum.ru/news/3172317.html and ovsekretno.ru/news/v-peterburge-sobirayutsya-snyat-chast-covid-ogranicheniy/), but in many regions, the situation is stable or even deteriorating (regnum.ru/news/society/3170739.htmlregnum.ru/news/3172687.html).
Like many countries, Russia is facing a gap between the number of doses of vaccines it has produced and the number delivered. Officials say that this is because of the difficulties of ensuring that the medication is kept under conditions which ensure that it will be effective (vz.ru/society/2021/1/25/1081768.html).
To overcome resistance to getting vaccinated, officials in some places are advertising the idea that those who get vaccinated will be able to take vacations elsewhere in Russia and abroad (regnum.ru/news/3172623.html). Some regions are requiring teachers get vaccinated or face dismissal even as Moscow continues to say that vaccination is purely voluntary (regnum.ru/news/3172522.html and newsru.com/russia/25jan2021/teacher_shots.html).
Upbeat government projections about a rise in consumer spending this year are misplaced, some economists say, with others noting that talk about recovery over all in the near term is “populist” rather than accurate (regnum.ru/news/3172512.html and regnum.ru/news/3172416.html and vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2021/01/25/855250-ekonomika-poka-sohranyaet-riski-koronakrizisa).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Russian medical experts dismissed suggestions that those with cancer should avoid being vaccinated (regnum.ru/news/3172259.html).
· According to the defense ministry, “more than 23,000” soldiers in the Southern Federal District have received at least one shot of the Sputnik-5 vaccine. About 7,000 have received the required second shot as well (regnum.ru/news/3172060.html).
· A Russian psychotherapist warned today that those who are overly fearful of getting the coronavirus put themselves at greater risk of becoming infected with that or other diseases (versia.ru/psixoterapevt-obyasnil-svyaz-mezhdu-straxom-i-riskom-zarazitsya-koronavirusom).