Staunton, July 30 – Over the past year, Moscow has sought to sell as much vaccine to as many countries as possible and has signed contracts with more than 70 countries, but now it is increasingly proving unable to meet its obligations both because of shortcomings in Russian production and domestic needs (https://ehorussia.com/new/node/23959).
That has left many countries without the vaccine they expected to have and has created scandals in some where officials are suspected of having gone along with Moscow without doing the due diligence that such contracts require. This trend also makes it likely that Russia will have more difficulty selling other of its products in the future.
Today, the Russian authorities reported registering 23,564 new cases of infection and 794 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, the latter down slightly while the former remains close to its all-time high, as the pandemic ebbs and flows across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/3385 and regnum.ru/news/society/3330437.html).
Moscow where the situation has improved somewhat in recent days has lifted the requirement that residents wear gloves in public (regnum.ru/news/3333280.html). But in many places, the level of infections and deaths remains so high that officials are increasing rather than cutting back on restrictions (regnum.ru/news/3333690.html).
In Karelia, a new hot spot, officials are already talking about having to deal with a fourth wave of the pandemic later this year (regnum.ru/news/3333288.html). And Moscow officials say that more than 95 percent of victims are suffering from the highly infectious “delta” strain (regnum.ru/news/3333526.html).
On the vaccine front, the defense ministry announced it is now re-vaccinating its soldiers in Syria (regnum.ru/news/3333270.html), researchers say combining Sputnik-Lite and Astrazena does not result in serious side effects (regnum.ru/news/3333423.html), and the Vektor Center says it will soon have its EpiVakKorona vaccine registered (regnum.ru/news/3333629.html).
And on the economic front, the Komi Republic reported that hundreds of enterprises have ceased operation there over the last year because of the pandemic restrictions and the resulting economic crisis (regnum.ru/news/3333720.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· The Russian government has rejected Duma calls to increase the value of human life to 10 million rubles (140,000 US dollars). It says that economic conditions require that it be kept far lower (regnum.ru/news/3333323.html).
· A VTsIOM poll finds that Russians want political parties to talk about the pandemic, despite an effort by United Russia to prevent that; and some Duma deputies are beginning to say that various steps the government is taking with regard to the coronavirus reflect calculations about the upcoming election rather than science (wciom.ru/analytical-reviews/analiticheskii-obzor/politiki-protiv-ehpidemii-idei-i-proekty and regnum.ru/news/3333580.html).
· And two governors, summoned to meet Vladimir Putin, were forced to go into self-isolation in advance of that meeting in order to ensure that they would not infect the Kremlin leader (ura.news/news/1052496831