Staunton, July 22 – Russian pharmaceutical companies produced far more vaccine in June than earlier but still failed to be able to supply all the regions or meet Moscow’s contractual agreements with other countries (rbc.ru/economics/22/07/2021/60f99da09a7947704e1ad933 and lanacion.com.ar/politica/la-revelacion-de-la-encrucijada-mas-desesperante-del-gobierno-nid22072021/).
Russian officials today reported registering 24,471 new cases of infection and 796 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, with the two capitals dominating the situation but to a slightly smaller extent than has been the case up to now as the pandemic ebbed and flowed (t.me/COVID2019_official/3345 and regnum.ru/news/society/3324376.html).
One place of particular concern is Russian-occupied Crimea to which many Russians have gone as tourists for their summer vacations. Officials there say they may be compelled to close off the region to all outsiders because of rising rates of infection (forum-msk.org/material/news/17306469.html).
On the vaccine front, Moscow city has begun a revaccination program even while many regions outside the capital have not yet managed to finish the first round of the shots (regnum.ru/news/3328168.html). And the Old Believers Church has issued a statement calling on all its followers to get vaccinated (nazaccent.ru/content/36217-v-staroobryadcheskoj-cerkvi-podderzhali-vakcinaciyu-ot.html).
And on the economic front, Rosbalt commentator Sergey Shelin says that there is little chance that Russia will return to pre-covid standards of living anytime soon. Indeed, he argues, that may be “almost impossible” given difficulties with sanctions and trade (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2021/07/22/1912529.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Moscow officials talked about forming a sanitary shield around Russia while others suggested that herd immunity would be possible only if it involved all countries (iarex.ru/articles/81864.html and kp.ru/daily/28307/4448442/).
· The KROS research firm reported that Russians in the second quarter listed the third wave of the pandemic and the possibility of mandatory vaccinations as their greatest fears (cros.ru/ru/exploration/research/2121/).
· Because of rising death rates in Moscow, some cemetery workers there have buried the latest fatalities in the same graves they used earlier, one corpse on top of another, to the outrage of the population (kp.ru/daily/28307/4448319/).