Sunday, May 2, 2021

Fighting Pandemic, Moscow has Put Off Addressing Other Problems, Onishchenko Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 30 – During the pandemic, Moscow has addressed all its efforts to combatting the coronavirus, Duma deputy Gennady Onishchenko says. That was and is appropriate, but it means that many other pressing problems were not addressed, have intensified, and must be addressed soon (

            Today, Russian officials reported registering 8731 new cases of infection and 397 new deaths from the coronavirus, with the figures in Moscow easing slightly but the numbers from other regions, including St. Petersburg remaining stable or going higher as the pandemic ebbed and flowed ( and

            Rosstat reported that Russia had suffered 23,715 deaths from the coronavirus in March, down from February but that for the entire period of the pandemic, the country had suffered almost 250,000 deaths (

            As Russia heads into the long holidays, Moscow officials said that vaccination centers in the capital would continue normal operations (, St. Petersburg reported a surge in hospitalizations over the last week (, and more regions said they would check visitor for the virus (

            Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the long holidays had been introduced because of recommendations from epidemiologists (, and other officials said there was no basis for introducing new limitations or extending time off (

            On the vaccine front, Moscow announced that Turkey had become the 63rd country to approve the Russian Sputnik-5 vaccine for use and that San Marino had become the first country in the world to vaccinate its entire population with it ( and

            Officials in various regions continued to offer payments to Russians getting the shot, and researchers said that they have released the first vaccine for animals ( and

            On the economic front, the rate of decline of incomes in Russia has accelerated 400 percent in recent weeks, and inflation is going up, with prices for medicines leading the way in 90 percent of the country’s federal subjects ( and

            In an effort to calm the situation, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said that as bad as things are in Russia, they are worse in other countries (

            Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         Duma deputy Gennady Onishchenko says the safest place to be in Russia on May 9 as far as the virus is concerned is Red Square (

·         In many places, Russian Orthodox and Muslim groups are taking parallel measures in response to the pandemic during their overlapping holidays (

·         Officials in Stavropol plan to mark May Day with a ceremony in which they will burn an effigy of the coronavirus (

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