Staunton, April 27 – Russian computer experts say that the number of cyberattacks on Russian medical laboratories involved in developing vaccines has risen by 400 percent this year over last, a sign, they suggest, of international recognition of the success Russian labs have had in comparison with those abroad (regnum.ru/news/society/3250801.html).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 8053 new cases of infection and 392 new deaths from the coronavirus as the pandemic, while plateauing for the country as a whole, ebbed and flowed in various regions (t.me/COVID2019_official/2848 and regnum.ru/news/society/3250801.html).
Some places are increasing restrictions in advance of the extended May holidays. Ivanovo, for example, will impose entry restrictions during that period to prevent people from elsewhere in Russia bringing the coronavirus with them (ivanovoobl.ru/?type=news&id=36173). And Moscow has told Russians not to buy tickets for travel to Turkey after June 1 (regnum.ru/news/3254525.html).
On the vaccine front, Deputy Prime Minsiter Tatyana Golikova said Russia has produced 28 million doses of its vaccines and released 17.4 million of them for use in the population at large (regnum.ru/news/3254489.html). She criticized the regions for failing to maintain restrictions or even sign contracts to purchase the vaccine (regnum.ru/news/3254756.html and regnum.ru/news/3254530.html).
A leading epidemiologist said Russia must increase the rate of vaccinations by a factor of five if it is to have any hope of achieving herd immunity, as evidence is coming in that rates of vaccination are slowing in some cities and even in the Russian military (regnum.ru/news/3254597.html, regnum.ru/news/3255061.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3250801.html).
Some regions, including Magadan and Chukotka are introducing cash prizes for those who do get their shots in hopes of boosting demand for the coronavirus vaccination (interfax.ru/russia/763828 and interfax.ru/russia/763646). At the same time, some Russians are getting a third or even fourth shot despite official statements that there is no need for that (reuters.com/world/europe/some-russians-get-extra-covid-19-shots-sputnik-v-developers-say-no-need-2021-04-27/).
A quasi-government organization, the Lazarev Club, has sent doses of the vaccine to Qarabagh for the use of the local population there (materik.ru/novosti/lazarevskiy-klub-otpravil-pervuyu-p/).
On the economic front, the Kremlin has directed the government to come up with a program to aid small and mi-sized firms in especially hard-hit regions (regnum.ru/news/society/3250801.html), And the country’s banks say personal debt is now rising at unprecedented levels (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2021/04/27/1899509.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· The Bolshoy Theater has postponed all foreign appearances until March 2022 (regnum.ru/news/society/3250801.html).
· Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin says Europe should pay Russia compensation for its losses as a result of the coronavirus (regnum.ru/news/3254594.html).
· The health ministry says Russian life expectancy declined in the pandemic year by 1.84 years as compared to 2019 (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/04/27/minzdrav-v-2020-godu-ozhidaemaia-prodolzhitelnost-zhizni-v-rossii-snizilas-pochti-na-dva-goda).
· The city of Moscow has used the pandemic to set up a monitoring system that now covers all public spaces in the Russian capital (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=60882EDEB5DE7).
· Moscow accuses Brazil of politicizing the vaccine issue by its rejection of the Russian Sputnik-5 vaccine (themoscowtimes.com/2021/04/27/russia-accuses-brazil-of-political-sputnik-v-rejection-a73748).