Saturday, July 10, 2021

To Fight Pandemic, Some Russian Regions Blocking Outsiders from Entering

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 5 – Kurgan and Kamchatka have already placed restrictions on those who can enter their territories in the hopes of slowing the spread of the pandemic, and others are thinking about taking similar steps, especially where lockdowns nearby have led to spikes in infections among neighboring regions as in the Transbaikal (, and

            Today, Russian officials registered new records of infections and deaths from the coronavirus, with 24,353 of the first and 654 of the second over the last 24 hours. As has been true in recent weeks, just under half have been from the two capitals and their adjoining oblasts (

            The pandemic continues mostly to intensify with new restrictions following ( In Siberia, the situation is especially dire, with hospitals too full to take new coronavirus patients, shortages of vaccine, and shortages of doctors who have quit over low pay and working conditions (

            Russia has announced it will open air travel connections to Turkey next week from 13 more Russian cities, and Germany has lifted its ban on Russian travelers ( and

            On the vaccine front, a Levada Center poll finds that just over half of Russians say they are not afraid of getting sick, with 54 percent of the total saying they are not prepared to get vaccinated ( Nonetheless, the government continues to push for vaccination in order to avoid lockdowns.

            Today, officials said, 500,000 Russians had been vaccinated in the last 24 hours, a new record (, three million Muscovites and 2.7 million Siberians have now received at least their first shot ( and

Tests are beginning of covid vaccines for teenagers ( Also being tested in Russia are vaccines from China, but the Russian government is blocking any use of Western vaccines in the country ( and

            On the economic front, officials say that the country’s losses from the pandemic have now exceeded one trillion rubles (14 billion US dollars) (  But a major debate has broken out in Moscow as to whether giving money to the population protects it or leads to inflation (

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

·         The Russian Orthodox Church leadership has said those who don’t get vaccinated are committing a sin and that the notion that QR codes carry the mark of the Anti-Christ are ridiculous, although some of its priests are insisting the contrary ( and

·         The introduction of QR codes for entrance to restaurants and cafes has had an unintended consequence: the unvaccinated are taking over many public places like parks (

·         And ever more Russians are asking why vaccinations seem to work in other countries but not in Russia (

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