Staunton, April 19 – Estimated rates of immunity to the coronavirus, the combination of those who have recovered from the infection and those who are fully vaccinated against the disease range from 25 percent in the North Caucasus to 87 percent elsewhere, with the rate being 40 percent in Moscow city and oblast (regnum.ru/news/3246805.html, regnum.ru/news/3246630.html and doshdu.com/medlennee-vsego-vakcinacija-ot-koronavirusa-proishodit-na-severnom-kavkaze/).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 8589 new cases of infection and 346 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 years, as the pandemic ebbed and flowed across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/2797 and regnum.ru/news/society/3241939.htmlnewizv.ru/news/society/19-04-2021/svyshe-75-covid-patsientov-na-ivl-v-rossii-umerli).
Ever more Russians are questioning government pandemic statistics. As one writer put it, “the epidemic has lasted a yar but how many lives covid has carried off, the authorities either do not know or are not saying” (versia.ru/yepidemiya-dlitsya-uzhe-god-no-skolko-zhiznej-unyos-kovid-vlasti-ili-ne-znayut-ili-ne-govoryat).
In some regions, officials are tightening restrictions both on residents and, more importantly, on people arriving from other parts of the Russian Federation (regnum.ru/news/3246430.html and regnum.ru/news/3246192.html). At the same time, some areas are reporting that Russians are massively violating mask requirements (regnum.ru/news/3246189.html).
Russia says it has evacuated “more than 40,000” Russians from Turkey and Tanzania (regnum.ru/news/3247180.html), and Moscow announced that it is resuming flights to and from Estonia (https://ura.news/news/1052481326).
On the vaccine front, officials said Sputnik-5 remained 97.6 percent effective against the coronavirus four months after injections (regnum.ru/news/3247056.html). They also said that at least two new strains of the virus have emerged in Russia and may complicate efforts to fight the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3246601.html and kp.ru/daily/27266/4400810/).
On the economic front, most members of the Russian government saw their incomes rise during the pandemic year even as most Russians saw their incomes fall over the same period (dailystorm.ru/obschestvo/700-millionov-v-god-pandemii-u-bolshinstva-chlenov-pravitelstva-vyrosli-dohody).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Officials in Moscow and various cities are still trying to decide whether to hold the May Day parades in the open or only virtually (meduza.io/news/2021/04/19/organizatory-bessmertnogo-polka-sobralis-provesti-shestvie-v-ochnom-formate and regnum.ru/news/3247192.html).
· Pro-Kremlin commentators have lashed out at opposition figures for the latter’s criticism of Russian vaccines and pandemic policies (newizv.ru/news/politics/19-04-2021/propaganda-s-drugim-znakom-zachem-oppozitsionnye-smi-kritikuyut-vaktsinu-sputnik).
· More Russians took vitamins last year than did the year before, 52 percent in 2020 as compared to 38 percent in 2019, polls show (wciom.ru/analytical-reviews/analiticheskii-obzor/pandemija-uvelichila-potreblenie-vitaminov-2).