Staunton, August 21 – A group of US scholars has concluded that smoke from forest fires can ease the spread of the coronavirus (advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/33/eabi8789). While all the data was about Americans, Russians are alarmed because this year they are suffering through the largest forest fires they have ever known (babr24.com/?IDE=217894).
Because most of the Russian fires are in Siberia and the Far East, the prevailing winds are carrying most of the smoke eastward toward the Pacific and ultimately North America; but many cities east of the Urals are suffering from the blinding smoke. And residents are worries that the smoke could be increasing their chances of being infected with the coronavirus.
Today, Russian officials reported registering 21,000 new cases of infection and 797 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours, as the pandemic ebbs and flows across the country with restrictions and relaxations generally following the same trend line (t.me/COVID2019_official/3465 and regnum.ru/news/society/3344522.html).
Because death rates have remained at such a high plateau, Russian experts are reminding people that infections are a leading indicator and deaths a lagging one and that deaths will decline only seven to fourteen days after there has been a decline in the number of new infections (regnum.ru/news/3349907.html).
Moscow officials have approved the use of Sputnik-Lite for people over 60, including for the revaccination of that cohort. They have also announced that Russian researchers have come up with a fifth vaccine that is now undergoing tests (regnum.ru/news/3350009.html and