Staunton, Oct. 9 – Medical experts say that the epidemiological situation in 72 federal subjects is now so dire that they must consider introducing a new lockdown soon if the pandemic is to be contained even though such actions would face resistance in the Kremlin because they would destroy the economy (ura.news/articles/1036283227).
But if the pandemic is not brought under control soon – and today’s new infections – nearly 30,000 – and new deaths – nearly one thousand over the last 24 hours threatens to wreck the economy if nothing is done as the pandemic ebbs and flows throughout the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/3651 and regnum.ru/news/society/3387415.html
Also adding to pressure for a new lockdown is the conclusion of epidemiologists that vaccination rates have stagnated because positive incentives to get the shots aren’t working and mandatory injections are being used only sparingly against particular groups because of the Kremlin’s objections to requiring shots (business-gazeta.ru/article/525082).
As someone who has tracked the pandemic in Russia since its beginning, this author has the sense that the Kremlin and the pandemic are playing a game of chicken, with the Kremlin hoping the pandemic will ebb and relieve in of the necessity to do something and the pandemic continuing to surge according to its own internal logic.
At some point, almost certainly sooner rather than later, the Kremlin will have to blink and take action. Shifting all responsibility to the regional governments after all is ultimately no more successful a strategy than opposing mandatory shots and lockdowns is when the epidemiological situation is as bad as it now is in Russia.