Staunton, September 2 – The situation in Moscow and at most European Russia defines how most people decide how well Russia is doing with the pandemic. But that focus misses the fact that east of the Urals, the situation is dire with infections and deaths rising and officials saying they lack the resources to deal with it (kommersant.ru/doc/4967348 and regnum.ru/news/3359952.html).
Moscow officials are acknowledging that the rest of the country faces an increasingly difficult situation with regard to covid over the next few weeks with the reopening of schools, the return of many to in-person work, and the start of the regular flu season (interfax.ru/russia/788107, sovsekretno.ru/news/v-rossii-zafiksirovali-pervye-sluchai-zabolevaniya-grippom/ and rosbalt.ru/russia/2021/09/02/1919173.html).
Today, as the pandemic intensified in many places and lessened in a few, Russian officials said they had registered 18,985 new cases and 798 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours for the country as a whole (t.me/stopcoronavirusrussia/5737 and regnum.ru/news/society/3352534.html).
Two other statistics of note were released today. Tatarstan reported that elderly people there are four times more likely to get sick with the coronavirus than those younger and four times more likely to die (kazved.ru/news/health/02-09-2021/volna-koronavirusa-v-tatarstane-udarila-po-pozhilym-i-detyam-a-vaktsinatsiyu-tormozyat-antiprivivochniki-5835912).
And the Moscow Patriarchate announced that as of yesterday, 5540 of its religious have been infected with the coronavirus with the death toll among them having risen to 182 (regnum.ru/news/3359179.html).
On the vaccine front, the Accounting Chamber said that Russians were resisting getting vaccinated because of “insufficient” information about the coronavirus. Others suggested they were confused by the release of so many different vaccines (regnum.ru/news/3359435.html and sntat.ru/news/sputnik-lait-dlya-cego-on-nuzen-i-komu-ne-stoit-im-privivatsya-5832654).
Russian officials said they were negotiating with American companies to organize the further export of the Sputnik-5 vaccine, and Russian tourism said it would launch “vaccination tours” to Russia for foreigners before the end of this year (regnum.ru/news/3359932.html and regnum.ru/news/3359644.html).
On the question of keeping vaccination voluntary, several pregnant women in Khabarovsk Kray said they had been forced to get vaccinated in order to receive medical treatment in advance of giving birth (club-rf.ru/27/news/59630).
Meanwhile, there is as yet no indication that Russia will heed the call of the WHO to stop covid booster shots until poorer countries have had the opportunity to give their residents the initial series (vedomosti.ru/society/news/2021/09/02/884807-glava-voz-prizval-vvesti-moratorii-na-revaktsinatsiyu-covid-19).