Staunton, Sept. 14 – Vladimir Putin’s decision to return to self-isolation because of coronavirus infections among his entourage has prompted speculation about the possibility that the Duma elections might be postponed or a new country-wide lockdown imposed after them (mk.ru/politics/2021/09/14/ukhod-putina-na-karantin-porodil-vopros-o-vyborakh.html, regnum.ru/news/3369725.html and rosbalt.ru/posts/2021/09/14/1921110.html).
Today, Russian officials reported registering 17,837 new cases of infection and 781 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued across the country (t.me/stopcoronavirusrussia/5859, regnum.ru/news/society/3361504.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3369923.html).
Officials in some regions reported sharp spikes upward in both infections and deaths (rbc.ru/society/14/09/2021/61405e979a7947260d69211b and severpost.ru/read/122400/). And consumer affairs chief Anna Popova said there was no basis now for lifting the mask mandate (sovross.ru/news/53651).
More schools and at least one university went to distance learning as the pandemic appeared to intensify (regnum.ru/news/3369809.html, regnum.ru/news/3370013.html and regnum.ru/news/3370124.html). Moscow did lift restrictions on flights to Spain but Spanish officials said Russians could only enter if they had non-Russian vaccines (regnum.ru/news/3370234.html and snob.ru/news/rossiya-vozobnovit-rejsy-v-ispaniyu-irak-keniyu-i-slovakiyu-s-21-sentyabrya/).
To try to boost the rate of vaccinations among Russians which has slowed in recent weeks, ever more experts are urging that the government mandate three days of paid leave for everyone who gets the covid shots (regnum.ru/news/3369336.html and kp.ru/daily/28330/4474676/).
Meanwhile, a SuperJob poll finds that 32 percent of Russians do not think that those who purchase fake vaccination certificates should be punished, while 41 percent say they favor punishing such people (superjob.ru/research/articles/113056/obschestvo-ne-opredelilos-s-otnosheniem-k-poddelnym-privivochnym-sertifikatam/).