Staunton, April 5 – Anyone attending the St. Petersburg Economic Forum and hoping to come into close contact with Vladimir Putin will have to undergo a quarantine inn advance to ensure that he or she doesn’t spread the coronavirus to the Russian leader (meduza.io/news/2021/04/05/sotrudnikov-peterburgskogo-ekonomicheskogo-foruma-otpravyat-na-dvuhnedelnyy-karantin-pered-vozmozhnym-priezdom-putina-v-iyune).
Given that Putin has had his shots, is pushing for others to do the same, and is regularly claiming that Russia has passed out of the danger zone, this announcement will likely be taken by coronavirus skeptics as yet another indication that that powers that be can’t be trusted about the vaccine and that they won’t rush to get it.
Today, Russian officials announced that they had registered 8643 new cases of infection and 243 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/2725 and regnum.ru/news/society/3233862.html
Hospitalizations edged up in St. Petersburg, and the eningrad Oblast governor called for a return to restrictive measures as part of an effort to bring the pandemic there under control (regnum.ru/news/3234747.html and regnum.ru/news/3234547.html). Meanwhile, Pskov officials launched an investigation after a concert where few attendees obeyed sanitary rules (regnum.ru/news/3234643.html).
On the vaccine front, Russian medical officials said cancer patients not only can be vaccinated but must be (regnum.ru/news/3234519.html), Putin discussed with Hanoi officials supplying doses of the Russian vaccine to Vietnam (regnum.ru/news/3234491.html), and the first batch of EpiVakKorona has been sent to 40 Russian regions (regnum.ru/news/3234489.html).In addition, Indian officials announced that a firm there will produce 100 million doses of the Russian vaccine annually (regnum.ru/news/3234473.html).
Russian officials and Russian experts disagreed about the willingness of Russians to get the vaccine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the number wanting to get the shots is increasing (regnum.ru/news/3234253.html), but a leading medical specialist says more than half of the population doesn’t want to, an attitude he described as unacceptably “medieval” and dangerous (lenta.ru/news/2021/04/05/vaccinacia/).
On the economic front, overdue credit card debt among Russians approached one trillion rubles (80 billion US dollars), an indication that people are facing ever more difficulties paying their bills (https://www.trtrussian.com/ekonomika/kreditnye-dolgi-zhitelej-rossii-vyrosli-do-trilliona-rublej-046761).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Gamaley Labs, where the Sputnik-5 vaccine was developed, say that other Russian centers tried to hire away its scientists this year but were not successful (regnum.ru/news/3234022.html).
· Russian producers said they were pleased that there had not been a single dose of fake vaccine in Russia up to now (regnum.ru/news/3234050.html).
· Online fraud in Russia, however, increased by 70 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, reaching some 2.8 billion rubles (40 million US dollars), officials say (capost.media/news/obshchestvo/v-koronavirusnyy-god-kibermoshenniki-ustanovili-rekord/).