Staunton, May 14 – Two weeks after Vladimir Putin extended the days off Russians had for the May holidays, an action he said he was taking to stop the spread of the pandemic by allowing Russians time to get vaccinated, cases of infection in Moscow jumped 37 percent today over yesterday to the highest level in the city since January and in Russia since March.
Russian officials reported registering 9462 new cases of infection and 393 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with 3818 of the new infections being in the city of Moscow (t.me/COVID2019_official/2937). Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin played down the jump but others said it was very worrisome given the likelihood of an uptick in deaths in the coming days (https://regnum.ru/news/3269584.html and regnum.ru/news/3269408.html).
Elsewhere in Russia, the pandemic continued to ebb and flow, with some places putting back in place restrictions they had lifted while others relaxed the ones they still had in place (regnum.ru/news/society/3267667.html). One big boost for domestic tourism came with the reopening of the Soloviki religious center (29.ru/text/world/2021/04/28/69890609/).
And another boost came for foreign travel as Moscow announced it would lift restrictions on flights to Iceland, Malta, Mexico, Portugarl and Saudi Arabia on May 25 (aif.ru/politics/world/s_25_maya_rossiya_vozobnovit_aviasoobshchenie_s_eshche_pyatyu_stranami
On the vaccine front, officials said that Moscow residents currently have access to two kinds of coronavirus vaccine (regnum.ru/news/3269766.html). India began widespread use of the Sputnik-5 serum (regnum.ru/news/3269750.html). St. Petersburg reported a slowing of vaccinations there (regnum.ru/news/3268842.html).
Meanwhile, resistance among Russians to getting the vaccine remained high with one rumor claiming that 260 times more Russians have died from the vaccine than have from the pandemic itself (svpressa.ru/health/article/298371/