Staunton, February 11 – Even when the pandemic ends and those infected with the coronavirus have recovered, about 70 percent of them will require intensive rehabilitation; and that in turn, Moscow experts say, will constitute a significant drag on Russia’s economic recovery (ng.ru/economics/2021-02-11/1_8081_covid.html).
They suggest that this will require major investments in the healthcare system lest the shadow of the pandemic lengthen long beyond when the authorities declare that the danger has passed. Already there is evidence that many who contract the virus may suffer many problems for months, years or even longer.
For the present, the pandemic in Russia is continuing, albeit there has been an easing in many places. Today, Moscow officials reported registering 15,038 new cases of infection and 553 new deaths from the coronavirus (t.me/COVID2019_official/2468).
Epidemiologists say that Russia may have suffered even more excess deaths in 2020 than previously reported because the mortality rate, according to the latest studies, rose from 12.3 per 100,000 to 14.5 per 100,000 died. That latter figure points to total deaths of about 360,000 and not the 324,000 reported earlier (regnum.ru/news/3188340.html).
The pandemic continued to ebb and flow in parts of the Russian Federation (regnum.ru/news/society/3188415.html). But Moscow officials said that individual regions do not have the right to lift mass requirements without the permission of the center (echo.msk.ru/news/2788992-echo.html
On the vaccine front, Vladimir Putin said he would get the shots in the late summer or early fall, that is far later than ordinary Russians are being encouraged to (kommersant.ru/doc/4684197), and his entourage expressed the hope that he would return to face-to-face work in the near future (regnum.ru/news/3188552.html).
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow doesn’t want to promote vaccinations by carrots and sticks but rather seeks to rely on the good sense and free choice of Russians (regnum.ru/news/3188540.html). In some places where the pandemic has ebbed, the demand for shots and masks has fallen sharply (regnum.ru/news/3188457.html and agoniya.eu/archives/11786).
On the economic front, experts say that Russia faces a wave of mass bankruptcies in the coming months (svpressa.ru/economy/article/289071/). They also say that there is little prospect the restaurants in Russia will return to pre-pandemic operations this year (vedomosti.ru/business/articles/2021/02/10/857472-restorani-vernutsya).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Schools and higher educational institutions are experiencing difficulties in adjusting back to face-to-face instruction after students and teachers have been online for months (vtimes.io/2021/02/11/kak-uchaschiesya-vishli-iz-zoni-otchuzhdeniya-a3112).
· Some Moscow analysts say that Russia may become a destination for “vaccine tourism” and that this will increase the country’s “soft power” and ability to influence others (regnum.ru/news/3188559.html).