Low vaccination and spikes in deaths: Russia experiences its worst moment due to the growth of the Delta variant

EFE / EPA / YURI KOCHETKOV / Archivo

Russia faces an increase in new cases that the authorities attribute to the highly infectious Delta variant and the slowness in vaccination of the population. The country is experiencing critical moments due to the pandemic, while the capital, Moscow, reached record deaths.

The country, with 90% of the Delta variant circulating and limited vaccination, has one of the worst death rates due to the pandemic, warned the prestigious North American researcher, geneticist and cardiologist Eric Topol, current editor-in-chief of Medscape.

The authorities of Moscow registered 114 deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, the highest daily death toll in the Russian capital since March 2020.

That is 16 more deaths than on June 25, when the previous fatal mark was reached. Total, 22,086 people have died from covid-19 in the Russian capital since the outbreak of the pandemic.

COVID-19 mortality in Russia (Source: Our World in Data)
COVID-19 mortality in Russia (Source: Our World in Data)

In addition, the positives at the national level amounted to 21,665, of them 8,457 in Moscow, the epicenter of the pandemic since March 2021.

For its part, St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-most populous city, recorded 107 deaths on Saturday.

According to Topol, behind this increase in the number of deaths is the Delta variant and the limited inoculation campaigns.

Faced with this rebound, Moscow reintroduced restrictions such as compulsory teleworking, the creation of a health pass to go to restaurants or the imposition of vaccines in the service sector, but he is not yet considering a strict confinement.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobianin admitted that the new strains, whose incubation period is a few days, is the cause of the current rebound, since that of Wuhan affects less than 5% of cases.

The prestigious researcher Eric Topol's warning of mortality in Indonesia and Russia due to the Delta variant and limited vaccination (Twitter: @EricTopol)
The prestigious researcher Eric Topol’s warning of mortality in Indonesia and Russia due to the Delta variant and limited vaccination (Twitter: @EricTopol)

The situation is such that we are suffering from the pandemic again. The epidemic … is rampant in Moscow. We are hospitalizing almost two thousand patients daily”, He warned and admitted that the workload in the city’s hospitals has doubled.

And he insisted that “To stop the pandemic one thing is needed: rapid mass vaccination” and that the rest, including confinement, are “provisional measures.”

Although the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was against mandatory vaccination, Sobianin decreed in mid-June the obligation to be vaccinated for at least 60% of employees in the service sector, an example that many Russian regions are emulating.

On the other hand, A region of central Russia suspended COVID-19 vaccination for two days on Saturday due to dose shortageslocal authorities reported, while the country recorded the highest daily increase in cases of the disease since mid-January.

Friday photo of a vaccination center for COVID-19 in a shopping center in Moscow.  Jun 25, 2021. REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov
Friday photo of a vaccination center for COVID-19 in a shopping center in Moscow. Jun 25, 2021. REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov

Following shortages that forced inoculation campaigns to be suspended from Friday in some centers in Bashkiria and Khabarovsk regions, health authorities in central Udmurtia said vaccinations would stop until Monday due to lack of supplies.

The Kremlin said the problem would be solved in the next few days, and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced an additional expenditure of 25 billion rubles ($ 346.80 million) for the care of patients with COVID-19.

According to the Russian authorities, more than 21 million of a total of 146 million Russians have already received the first dose of the vaccine, a figure considered too low to achieve herd immunity this year.

Russia already adds 5,451,291 positives and 133,282 deaths from covid-19, although independent sources multiply by two and three the official figures. EFE

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