Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Despite Increase in Number of Covid Infections, Nearly Half of All Russians Oppose Restoring a Mask Mandate

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 27 – In many parts of Russia, the coronavirus pandemic continues, with new infections and even hospitalizations increasing in number. But despite that, a new SuperJob survey finds that 48 percent of Russians oppose the reimposition of a mask mandate to limit the spread of this disease.

            At the same time, almost a quarter of all Russians, 23 percent, favor reimposing a mandate, something now being discussed in some regions. The number of supporters of requiring people to wear masks in public is greatest among women and among Russians under the age of 34 (rbc.ru/society/27/07/2022/62e092a79a79470bc20e48b0).

There is a real danger that the pandemic will expand exponentially in the coming weeks. Between the end of May, Russia registered only 2,000 new cases of infection each day; but at the end of July, it was registering more than 6,000, the highest daily number since the end of April when 7500 new cases were being recorded each day.

At the start of July, Moscow eliminated all coronavirus restrictions including mask mandates for Russia as a whole; but that was before the latest upsurge. As a result, there is likely to be pressure especially in the hardest hit areas to restore at least the mask mandate to try to prevent a recrudescence of the pandemic, given that vaccination rates in Russia are still low.

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