Russia’s daily coronavirus death toll has hit a thousand – the highest number since the pandemic began. Cases have also reached a new high with over thirty thousand daily infections. It’s the third day in a row that Russia has set a new record, as the country faces a sharp rise in infections driven by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates.
There are hardly any official restrictions in place, and the government has ruled out a nationwide lockdown. Two thirds of Russians are still unvaccinated. And polls show half of them plan on staying that way.
Mistrust in the government and Russian-developed vaccines, along with mixed messages from officials, has contributed to a trend of vaccine hesitancy. And many Russians have found ways around any restrictions for the unvaccinated.
The Kremlin has called the vaccination rate ‘unacceptably low.’ Authorities blame the public’s behavior for rising infection rates, but say the nation’s healthcare system is coping.
Packed intensive care units tell a different story. Retired doctors have been asked to come back. Many healthcare workers are frustrated at government inaction.
Some regions are imposing their own restrictions, but without a country-wide plan, and with vaccination rates stagnating, Russia is heading into a long and deadly hard winter.
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