Staunton, July 3 – For the fifth day in a row, Russian officials said that their country had set a new record for covid deaths, with 697. They also reported registering 24,439 new cases of infection and said that Russia now ranks fifth in the world in number of coronavirus deaths (regnum.ru/news/3312235.html, ehorussia.com/new/node/23802 and t.me/COVID2019_official/3193).
The pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the country, with more restrictions and fewer reports of improvement than earlier in the week (regnum.ru/news/society/3310819.html). On Sakhalin, in the Far East, there was a protest against mandatory vaccinations (club-rf.ru/65/detail/5480).
Officials in the two capitals reported progress in vaccinations. St. Petersburg said almost 950,000 residents have now received their shots, while in Moscow, the government said that more than 2.7 million Muscovites had (regnum.ru/news/3312316.html and regnum.ru/news/3312267.html).
The biggest story of the day in Moscow is that the QR code system which Russians must use to visit restaurants, bars and cafes has broken down but that no one in authority is willing to take any responsibility for fixing it (theins.ru/obshestvo/243174).
Meanwhile, Russian anthropologist Aleksandr Arkhipov reports on a massive study of Internet posts about the pandemic and vaccines that there are relatively few convinced anti-vaxxers in Russia but that a large share of the population is skeptical and reports about various problems with the vaccines and a lack of trust in the authorities is keeping them on the sidelines (bbc.com/russian/features-57681007).
He says that some of the theories being spread are so outrageous that it is difficult to accept the notion that anyone accepts them; but despite that, senior experts are now being deployed to shoot some of them down, including the idea that the vaccine will modify the genetic code of Russians (regnum.ru/news/3312253.html).