Russia hits new daily COVID-19 deaths record
The daily coronavirus death toll in Russia hit another record high on Friday, according to The Associated Press: 936.
Factors contributing to the death rate, which has been above 900 for three consecutive days, are believed to be a waning vaccination rate and the lack of restrictions imposed by the government.
The death toll for the pandemic in Russia now sits at 213,549, according to daily figures, while Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the pandemic is around 596,000 — based on Moscow Times estimates.
There have been more than 7.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia.
Russia has the highest COVID-19 death toll in all of Europe, and the way the country counts coronavirus fatalities is conservative, which leads experts to believe the true number is likely far higher.
As of Tuesday, only 29 percent of Russians had been fully vaccinated and 33 percent had received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
In the largest Russian cities, such as St. Petersburg and Moscow, businesses are running as usual with mask mandates hardly enforced. Some regions do limit attendance for large, public gatherings and restrict access to restaurants, theaters and other venues that require either proof of vaccination or a negative test result within the past 72 hours.
Still, many Russian health care systems — already underfunded and far-flung — risk being overrun.
On Thursday, the Kremlin put out a statement encouraging vaccination without the reimposition of restrictive measures to public life.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters, “Any measure that can encourage more people to get vaccinated is good because only vaccination saves from death.”