Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Covid Infections Fall in Russia But Deaths There from Pandemic Remain High

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 23 – The Russian media are celebrating the fact that for the first time in two months, new daily infections from the coronavirus have fallen below 20,000 to 19,454 but the daily death toll remains stuck at 776 near recent records (regnum.ru/news/3351135.html, t.me/stopcoronavirusrussia/5648 and novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/08/23/v-rossii-vpervye-za-dva-mesiatsa-vyiavili-menee-20-tysiach-novykh-sluchaev-covid-19-za-sutki-news).

            That is an entirely expected pattern but one that makes it difficult to specify whether Russia is making progress of not. Figures from St. Petersburg highlight this: Today, the number of new infections fell by the largest amount ever, but those hospitalized with the infection remain at more than 4200 and at least some of those will likely die (regnum.ru/news/3350843.html and regnum.ru/news/3350775.html).

            Worrisome as far as the future is concerned is the fact that the authorities in the northern capital reported that so far they have been able to vaccinate only 35 percent of the city’s population over the age of 60, one of the most vulnerable groups whose members are most often hospitalized and die from the coronavirus (regnum.ru/news/3351242.html).

            Vladimir Putin again today reiterated his belief that vaccinations must remain voluntary but encouraged those who have been vaccinated to try to convince those who haven’t to get their shots by pointing out to them the advantages of doing so (stoletie.ru/lenta/putin_prizval_ne_navazyvat_rossijanam_vakcinaciju_ot_covid-19_661.htm).

            Meanwhile, health experts urged that the country’s vaccines be constantly updated to take into account the new mutations of the virus which are appearing (ura.news/news/1052500566  and newizv.ru/news/society/23-08-2021/vladislav-zhemchugov-mutatsii-kovida-mozhno-zamedlit).

And Russia’s cancer patients have asked the government to end the requirement that they receive their oral chemotherapy drugs only at clinics and hospitals. They say they fear that they will be infected with the coronavirus if they continue to do so (vedomosti.ru/society/articles/2021/08/23/883244-onkobolnie-tabletki).

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