Staunton, Sept. 24 – Coronavirus infections are increasing six to seven percent each week in many regions, with officials there closing schools to slow the infection. Today, Russia set another record for daily deaths from covid (828). But despite that Moscow officials continued to insist there is “no basis for a new lockdown” (t.me/stopcoronavirusrussia/5949, regnum.ru/news/society/3379238.html and regnum.ru/news/3380748.html).
But these same officials say the level of vaccination in Russia will be insufficient to ensure collective immunity (regnum.ru/news/3380766.html). And in what constitutes a kind of admission of failure, one epidemiologist says Russia can best fight the pandemic by a strict mask regime rather than with more shots (capost.media/views/osenniy-vsplesk-koronavirusa-mozhet-oslabit-ne-vaktsinatsiya-a-maski/).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Gamalay Institute officials say they do not expect any breakthrough soon in negotiations with Western countries to approve the Russian vaccine, a view that if true means Moscow will not earn the money from sales abroad that it expected (finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/razrabotchik-sputnika-v-prizval-ne-zhdat-skorogo-odobreniya-na-zapade-1030822486).
· Russian officials are expressing outrage that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has restricted the movement of Russians attending its upcoming meeting because they have not received Western vaccines (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/09/24/da-vaktsiny-u-vas-ne-toi-sistemy).
· But the Egyptian government has accepted for use Russia’s Sputnik-Lite vaccine (sputnikvaccine.com/rus/newsroom/pressreleases/odnokomponentnaya-vaktsina-sputnik-layt-odobrena-v-egipte/).