Russia: Highest New COVID 10/17 10:00
Russia is reporting its largest daily number of new coronavirus infections,
more than 70% up on the number a month ago as the country faces a sustained
rise in cases.
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia is reporting its largest daily number of new
coronavirus infections, more than 70% up on the number a month ago as the
country faces a sustained rise in cases.
The national coronavirus task force on Sunday said 34,303 new infections
were recorded in the previous day, compared with the 20,174 reported Sept. 19.
The death toll of 999 was barely lower than the record 1,002 deaths reported
Russian authorities have tried to speed up the pace of vaccinations with
lotteries, bonuses and other incentives, but widespread vaccine skepticism and
conflicting signals from officials stymied the efforts. The government said
this week that about 43 million Russians, or some 29% of the country's nearly
146 million people, are fully vaccinated.
Despite the mounting toll, the Kremlin has ruled out a new nationwide
lockdown like the one early on in the pandemic that badly hurt the economy,
eroding President Vladimir Putin's popularity. Instead, it has delegated the
power to enforce coronavirus restrictions to regional authorities.
Some of Russia's 85 regions have restricted attendance at large public
events and limited access to theaters, restaurants and other venues. However,
daily life is going on largely as normal in Moscow, St. Petersburg and many
other Russian cities.
The highest concentrations of cases are mostly in comparatively urbanized
western Russia and in the developed areas along the Pacific Coast such as
Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, but the sparsely populated Siberian region of Sakha
and Chukotka in the extreme northeast also show high case rates of more than
150 infections per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
Overall, the coronavirus task force has registered more than 7.99 million
confirmed cases and 223,312 deaths -- Europe's highest death toll. The official
record ranks Russia as having the fifth-most pandemic deaths in the world
following the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
However, state statistics agency Rosstat, which also counts deaths in which
the virus wasn't considered the main cause, has reported a much higher pandemic
death toll -- about 418,000 people with COVID-19 as of August. Based on that
number, Russia would rank as the fourth hardest-hit nation in the world, ahead