Corona i Russland

On Tuesday this week, 973 deaths from covid-19 were officially reported. There were five more than last Saturday and a little over a hundred more than the average in September.

As recently as July, when the spread of the delta variant escalated, there were around 750 deaths a day. It was a record at the time.

Low support

There is still low vaccine support among Russians, and thus there are also few prospects for brighter times.

On Friday last week, almost a third of all adults, 47.8 million, had received one vaccine dose. This means that only 29 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

– The vaccination rate is too low, unforgivably low, states President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

– That is the reason why we have such high death rates. We try to use every opportunity to encourage all residents to take the vaccine, he adds.

GET A MOUTH BIND: An elderly man on the Moscow metro protects himself as best he can against covid-19. But otherwise there are few bandages to be seen in the Russian capital, even though the infection pressure has actually increased recently. Photo: AP / NTB
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Hospital under pressure

The number of cases of infection therefore naturally also increases. More than 28,000 new cases are now registered every day. The infection puts a lot of pressure on the country’s hospitals. Peskov says that several of the hospitals are approaching congestion.

Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko states that 11 percent of all people admitted to hospital are coronary heart disease and that their condition is serious or very serious.

In total, just over 7.8 million Russians have been confirmed infected and 218,000 have died. Unlike several other countries, only those who have died as a direct result of the virus are counted.

The Russian statistics agency Rosstat states that the death toll is close to double if you count the cases where corona was not the only cause of death.

In absolute numbers, Russia is the fourth hardest hit country in the world – after the United States, Brazil and India.

REPORT: Camilla Stoltenberg talks about what could have been done better during the corona pandemic after a new report from the National Institute of Public Health. Video: Dagbladet / Frank Karlsen, Reporter: Frode Andresen
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Local responsibility

Despite the high numbers and the negative development, there is no question of shutting the country down at the national level. The Kremlin authorities believe that the responsibility must lie locally.

Peskov says that there is also no question of fining those who do not want to be vaccinated.

In some regions, restrictions have been introduced on large public events. And in some places only the fully vaccinated are allowed to go to the cinema, theater or eat at restaurants.

But in big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg, life goes on almost as before the pandemic. It is also very common to see people without face masks, even though there are rules for bandage use, reports the news agency AP.

Putin hosted

In September, the alarm went off after dozens of people in President Putin’s inner circle tested positive for covid-19. Putin, who himself has taken the Russian Sputnik vaccine, went into isolation for two weeks and is not said to have been infected.

– I hope it will turn out that Sputnik V has a high level of protection, he said when the infection around him became known.

PUTIN: Russian President Vladimir Putin went into self-imposed isolation after many of his closest associates tested positive for the coronavirus.  But according to the president, the Sputnik vaccine worked, and he should not have been infected.  Here he follows a video conference while in solitary confinement in September.  Photo: AP / NTB
PUTIN: Russian President Vladimir Putin went into self-imposed isolation after many of his closest associates tested positive for the coronavirus. But according to the president, the Sputnik vaccine worked, and he should not have been infected. Here he follows a video conference while in solitary confinement in September. Photo: AP / NTB
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He also praised the vaccine afterwards, and said that he had worked closely with people who were infected – without having been affected himself.

When Putin coughed several times during a video conference with several politicians on Monday, questions were asked about his health. He reassured that he was well and that he was not infected.

– There is no problem. I get tested almost every day – and not just for covid-19. It was simply cold outside and I had been a little too active, Putin, 69, replied.