Sunday, October 17, 2021

Current Pandemic Wave in Russia Hitting Regions Harder than Capitals

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 11 – While the numbers are larger in Moscow and St. Petersburg because the populations there are bigger, the current wave of the pandemic is hitting the regions harder both in per capita terms and also in terms of the resources officials have to combat it (

            The regions are scrambling to try to cope, imposing restrictions ranging from a ban on kissing in some places to the use of QR codes as “covid passports” to school closings or distance learning to partial full lockdowns (, and

            This diversity of response is creating problems for Russian business whose leaders say they don’t know how to cope with such a variety of often conflicting rules, something that became inevitable when the Kremlin punted responsibility to regional heads for dealing with the pandemic (

            For Russia as a whole, officials today reported registering 29,409 new cases of infection and 957 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continues to intensify across the country (

            The Kremlin blamed the rising toll on “the impermissibly low” level of vaccination, but it continued to oppose any kind of mandate for Russians to get their shots or even a proposal to fine those who refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus ( and

            But Vladimir Putin did issue another call for international cooperation to combat the pandemic (

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