Staunton, Oct. 12 – Russian officials continued to report unprecedentedly high numbers of infections (28,190) and deaths (973) over the last 24 hours, with other statistics equally devastating including a surge of new cases over the last week by 16 percent for Russia as a whole and more than 30 percent in 11 regions (t.me/COVID2019_official/3667 and tass.ru/obschestvo/12638691).
Twenty-six regions have imposed QR requirements for entrance to public places, and 605 Russian schools have gone completely over to distance instruction. Many more have done so in part (regnum.ru/news/3395867.html and regnum.ru/news/3395850.html). More than 90 percent of Russia’s covid beds are full and 6,000 patients are on ventilators (t.me/rbc_news/36480).
And the pandemic is hitting members of the Russian elite, not only in the regions but in Moscow, where 11 Duma deputies are now hospitalized with coronavirus infections, even though 70 percent of the members of the lower house of the legislature have received their shots (regnum.ru/news/3395461.html and regnum.ru/news/3395648.html).
But despite all this and the fact that it is being widely reported, a Rosbalt commentator says, “everything in Russia is calm: people are digging their graves without particular noise … and one has the impression that somehow this isn’t affecting anyone” (rosbalt.ru/blogs/2021/10/12/1925726.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· The Russian government may be optimistic about getting WHO and EU approval for its vaccines but the Russian tourist industry is less so and doesn’t expect movement before the end of the year (regnum.ru/news/3396158.html).
Some regions are facing a shortage of doctors in hospitals for general treatment because they have been reassigned to give coronavirus vaccine shots (nakanune.ru/articles/117723/
· The pandemic has increased the trust people have in imaginary figures and also in some public ones, Russian psychologists report (newizv.ru/news/society/12-10-2021/epidemiya-covid-19-povysila-doverie-grazhdan-k-publichnym-lyudyam-i-vydumannym-personazham).
· Russians suffering from ordinary flu and other infections are now competing with the victims of coronavirus pandemic for access to medical treatment (ng.ru/health/2021-10-12/8_8275_flu.html).