Staunton, Sept. 17 – Despite the fact that Russian drug companies lack the capacity to produce enough vaccine for domestic use and that Moscow has arrangements with other countries to produce enough Russian vaccines for Russians, a Moscow company, R-Pharm, says it will produce the AstraZeneca vaccine but only for export rather than for use in Russia (snob.ru/news/v-rossii-nachali-proizvodit-vakcinu-astrazeneca-no-tolko-dlya-eksporta/).
That was not the only announcement today that is getting the Russian authorities in trouble. The Kremlin’s explanation for Vladimir Putin’s new self-isolation has sparked speculation of all kinds because analysts say the official explanation “is no explanation” but rather appears to be an attempt to hide the truth (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6144136558BB3).
And Putin’s own claims about how much his government has helped the Russian economy during the pandemic has led analysts to point out that the only way for his claim that the Kremlin gave the economy funds equal to 4.5 percent of GDP is for the real GDP of Russia to be 37 percent lower than officials have said up to now (regnum.ru/news/3373196.html).
Today, Russian officials said that they had registered 19,905 new cases of infection and 791 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continues to intensify in many places, including in the northern capital where the coefficient of infection has jumped to 1.05 (t.me/COVID2019_official/3565, regnum.ru/news/society/3369923.html and regnum.ru/news/3373284.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Election officials explained that they were organizing voting in the hallways of schools rather than in classrooms to improve circulation and thus reduce the chance of the transmission of the coronavirus, statements that suggest circulation in schools ordinarily is anything but good (regnum.ru/news/3373039.html).
· Moscow’s Sechenov University has now erected a memorial to Russian doctors and other medical personnel who have been fighting the coronavirus pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3373582.html).
· And commentator Aleksey Tsvetkov says that the coronavirus pandemic is just the opening act of a tragedy that will involve far more deadly viruses in the future (rosbalt.ru/posts/2021/09/17/1921774.html).