Staunton, May 8 – Despite Moscow’s dispatch of tens of thousands of doses of vaccine and the St. Petersburg government’s effort to enforce the wearing of masks and social distancing, the coronavirus pandemic in the northern capital is at best at an unacceptable and unstable “high plateau,” officials say (regnum.ru/news/3263804.html).
Something similar appears to be the case in Moscow as well, and many observers fear that the long holidays which have not boosted inoculations but have led more people to violate sanitary norms may lead to a new explosion in infections, hospitalizations and deaths before the end of this month.
The situation in other, smaller Russian cities is also increasingly problematic, and even today, one day before the victory holiday, some of them are cancelling popular attractions like fireworks to prevent large gatherings that could prove to be super-spreader events (regnum.ru/news/3263489.html).
Given a slowdown in the rate of vaccinations, politicians are coming up with new incentives to try to get Russians to take the shots. The latest proposal comes for LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky who says that Russians who have received fines for one thing or another should have them waved if they get the shots (regnum.ru/news/3263568.html).
To judge from the overall figures, which show a small but continuing improvement, many areas are doing better even if the largest cities are again taking the hardest hit. Today, Moscow officials reported registering 8329 new cases of infection and 370 deaths over the last 24 hours for the country as a whole (t.me/COVID2019_official/2905).
The Russian government for its part is trying to decide whether it can still gain a significant portion of the European market given that the European Commission is close to finalizing a deal to purchase almost two billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to treat the entire EU population (bfm.ru/news/471534).