Staunton, February 17 – Russian arms sales abroad fell by 16 percent to 11.5 billion US dollars last year (rbc.ru/economics/17/02/2021/602bc2019a794731e34e6133). Tourist visits to Russia fell even more with a 46 percent decline in foreign tourists in the Russian capital (versia.ru/v-rossii-za-sutki-zaregistrirovano-12-828-sluchaev-zarazheniya-koronavirusom-i-467-letalnyx-isxodov).
Russian officials reported registering 12,828 new cases of coronavirus infection, continuing the recent decline, but 467 new deaths over the last 24 hours, a slight uptick (t.me/COVID2019_official/2489), as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country (regnum.ru/news/society/3188415.html).
In the northern capital, hospitalizations rose, and with reports of that development, testing increased as well, continuing a pattern typical of the pandemic as a whole (regnum.ru/news/3194009.html and regnum.ru/news/3193253.html).
The defense ministry updated its report on the number of uniformed personnel who have been infected. As of now, it said, “more than 30,000” have tested positive for the coronavirus (regnum.ru/news/3193974.html). The ministry also reported that it has begun to vaccinate officers enrolled in its space academy (regnum.ru/news/3193025.html).
And the Gamaley Center announced that it had begun the third phase of clinical tests on the Sputnik Lite version of its vaccine (regnum.ru/news/3193875.html).
Meanwhile in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· The culture ministry reported that the government has been supporting more than 1,000 movie theaters in Russia to keep them in operation despite restrictions that have driven own attendance (regnum.ru/news/3193034.html).
· The Tatarstan muftiate said that the faithful should get vaccinated even if they have qualms about the possibility that components of the vaccine are inconsistent with Islamic dietary rules (dumrt.ru/ru/news/news_25430.html).
· And Russian epidemiologists suggested that the coronavirus will likely run for the next three years with cases rising and falling during that period. They based their prediction on the pattern of the Spanish flu a century ago (regnum.ru/news/3193907.html).