Staunton, March 24 – Almost every part of the service industry showed significant losses during the pandemic year of 2020. There were only two exceptions: postal service and couriers and ritual services. The first of these grew 3.6 percent; the second, which finished in the top spot in earnings, increased 3.8 percent (ehorussia.com/new/node/23060
The St. Petersburg ombudsman said he has serious doubts about coronavirus statistics from his city because he has seen cases where media criticism of the numbers has resulted in changes of statistics after they were originally reported (regnum.ru/news/3223898.html).
St. Petersburg is among the regions with spikes and whose leaders have extended restrictions through April or longer (regnum.ru/news/society/3217850.html, regnum.ru/news/3223977.html and novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/03/24/v-sankt-peterburge-prodlili-zapret-na-provedenie-publichnykh-meropriiatii-i-rabotu-nochnykh-klubov).
The Russian government announced it will resume international flights to six more countries and increase the number of such flights to six others as of April 1 (themoscowtimes.com/2021/03/24/coronavirus-in-russia-the-latest-news-march-24-a69117).
On the vaccine front, Kremlin officials announced that Vladimir Putin has not experienced any side effects from his first dose of the vaccine. A Duma deputy suggested that the Kremlin leader had refused to release information on which vaccine he took to avoid giving any one of them a competitive advantage (regnum.ru/news/3224469.html and nakanune.ru/articles/116829/
Russian officials are stressing in public that they are devoting most vaccine production to domestic needs, but investigations show that they are using the vaccine as a new diplomatic weapon against competitors (regnum.ru/news/3224219.html and theins.ru/opinions/pavel-gavlichek/240412).
On the economic front, analysts say that the impact of the pandemic on firms in Russia is gradually easing and can be expected to continue in that direction in the coming months (rbc.ru/opinions/economics/24/03/2021/605996609a7947bce7b75b75