Staunton, March 25 – Exactly one year after the pandemic first forced Vladimir Putin to cancel a public meeting and one day after he got his first shot of the vaccine, the Kremlin leader announced he will be making more public appearances over a wider area of the country in the coming days (regnum.ru/news/3225175.html and ura.news/articles/1036282085).
One event Putin will certainly appear at is the Victory Day parade and associated celebrations on May 9, and officials said that they hoped to lift all restrictions on mass public meetings in the Russian capital at least before that date (rbc.ru/society/25/03/2021/605b531c9a794765cf042dfd).
But the pandemic is far more over, and in many parts of the country officials are extending current restrictions (regnum.ru/news/society/3217850.html). Today, Moscow reported registering 9221 new cases of infection and 393 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours (t.me/COVID2019_official/2657
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said the situation in his city with regard to the pandemic has stabilized although he noted increases in infections among the elderly (regnum.ru/news/3225402.html). In and around the northern capital, however, officials warned the situation is still too serious to talk about lifting restrictions (regnum.ru/news/3224881.html and regnum.ru/news/3225602.html).
On the vaccine front, Moscow Mayor Sobyanin said one million residents of his city have now been vaccinated (regnum.ru/news/3225532.html). In and around the northern capital, officials said the vaccine shortage had ended but the rate of vaccinations has slowed (regnum.ru/news/3225053.html).
Deputy Health Minister Pavel Pugachev said that all three Russian vaccines were equally effective and safe (regnum.ru/news/3225363.html), as Moscow pressed ahead with talks about sending the Russian vaccine to various African countries and reportedly Germany as well (regnum.ru/news/3225319.html and echo.msk.ru/news/2810426-echo.html).
On the economic front, a Deloitte study found that prices for Russian medicines have increased even as the purchasing power of the population has declined, putting more and more medicines out of reach for much of the population (deloitte.com/ru/ru/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/russian-pharmaceutical-market-trends-2020.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· In the kind of story that raises questions about Russian medical statistics, a St. Petersburg woman complained to prosecutors that her infection with the coronavirus was listed as bubonic plague by doctors (echo.msk.ru/news/2810876-echo.html).
· The pandemic led to a paper shortage in Russia and that limited the number of new books and their print runs there over the last 12 months (echo.msk.ru/news/2810404-echo.html).
· Because the black death in medieval Europe opened the way for the rise of the Renaissance, some Russian futurologists are wondering whether the coronavirus pandemic will have a similar, albeit more limited effect (ng.ru/nauka/2021-03-23/10_8109_plague.html).