New COVID-19 cases top 10,000 in Russia, vaccine rollout remains slow

New COVID-19 cases top 10,000 in Russia, vaccine rollout remains slow
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Russia reported its highest number of new COVID-19 infections in three months on Wednesday, confirming more than 10,000 new cases.

These are the highest infection numbers Russia has seen since March, CBS News notes, comparable to the infection rate the country saw during its second wave of cases.

As CBS News reports, only around 12 percent of Russia's population is vaccinated, largely due to widespread vaccine hesitancy. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin bemoaned the low rate of vaccinations in his city in May.

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"We continue getting sick, people keep dying, but they don't want to get vaccinated," Sobyanin said, noting that "the percentage of those vaccinated in Moscow is lower than in any European city."

Recent polling conducted by the Levada Center, an independent Russian research organization, found a majority of Russians are unafraid of contracting COVID-19 and the majority are also not ready to get a shot of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Due to the new surge in cases, Moscow announced that it would be adding hospital beds and cracking down on businesses that ignore mask and sanitation requirements, Bloomberg reports, handing out fines of 1 million rubles ($14,000) for any violations.

Despite these numbers, Bloomberg notes that Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFox News: 'Entirely unacceptable' for 'NSA to unmask Tucker Carlson' Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia next week MORE gave an optimistic address last week during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“Our situation is better than in many other countries,” Putin told the 5,000-person crowd. “The current situation in Russia and St Petersburg allows us to hold such events without any particular risk of spreading the infection.”

According to the World Health Organization, Russia has confirmed more than 5 million COVID-19 cases and nearly 125,000 deaths.