Staunton, August 25 – Despite upbeat official comments about the pandemic, experts at the Russian health ministry have concluded that there will likely be 3.9 million new cases of coronavirus infection in Russia by the end of the year and that this will result in 785,000 new hospitalizations (ura.news/news/1052501220 and sobesednik.ru/zdorove/20210825-minzdrav-kovidom-do-konca-goda-perebole).
Those figures would both be more than 50 percent of the number of infections and hospitalizations recorded since the pandemic began and will require that the government spend on the order of 111.4 billion rubles (1.5 billion US dollars), according to the Accounting Chamber (regnum.ru/news/3353401.html).
Despite those projections, both Russian regions and Moscow are reducing not increasing their medical spending, with the regions cutting its spending from last year by 15 percent, the largest decline ever, and Moscow sequestering 2.6 percent of its medical allocations (forum-msk.org/material/news/17370978.html).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 19,536 new cases of infection and 809 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to ebb and flow across the Russian Federation (t.me/COVID2019_official/3478, regnum.ru/news/society/3344522.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3352534.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· The scandal in Leningrad Oblast where medical personnel sold certificates of vaccination to those who did not get the shots is attracting more attention as investigators find this criminal enterprise was far larger than initially thought (regnum.ru/news/3352745.html and 47news.ru/articles/198823/).
· Indonesia became the 70th country to approve Russia’s Sputnik-5 vaccine for use (sputnikvaccine.com/rus/newsroom/pressreleases/indoneziya-stala-70-y-stranoy-odobrivshey-vaktsinu-sputnik-v/).
· And a Valdai Club study concludes that while the pandemic has reduced migration, it has increased hostility toward immigrants and people of other nationalities who are viewed as potential spreaders of the virus (tass.ru/obschestvo/12214375).