Tourists wear protective face masks on Red Square in Moscow, Russia | Bloomberg
Tourists wear protective face masks on Red Square in Moscow, Russia | Bloomberg
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Moscow: Russia posted a record number of new Covid-19 cases Friday as the government has resisted returning to a lockdown to battle the second wave of infections.

There were 12,126 new cases in the past day, breaking the previous record of 11,656 on May 11, according to data from the government’s National Virus Response Center.

President Vladimir Putin imposed sweeping restrictions for two months during the initial wave of coronavirus infections that helped slow the spread of the illness. However, the authorities are hesitant to resume unpopular measures that would hurt the economy, which has so far fared better than initially feared during the pandemic.

“This will be a topic for consideration by the government headquarters and at the regional level” if the number of ill continues to grow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday on a call with reporters. “This will require some action.”

Russia has recorded over 50,000 deaths related to Covid-19 and the fourth-most cases globally, after the U.S., India and Brazil. The resurgence in infections has come after schools reopened Sept. 1 and as cooler weather pushes people to spend more time indoors.


Also read:Russia registers world’s first Covid vaccine, Putin’s daughter among first recipients


Deeper contraction

Alexei Kudrin, chairman of a state audit agency, said this week that the second wave of the virus means the economic contraction this year will be deeper than the 3.9% the government now forecasts. He has called for new government aid.

In Moscow, the epicenter of the epidemic in Russia, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 is at a record high even as the overall number of cases is well below the May peak, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova.

Moscow has reopened several temporary hospitals to deal with the influx of new patients, sent schoolchildren home on an unplanned two-week vacation and introduced some new restrictions to slow the spread, including urging the elderly not to go out.

The mayor’s office may shut down bars and nightclubs to reduce traffic in the city, RBC website reported Friday, citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions.

However, the capital doesn’t plan to reintroduce a widely unpopular digital travel pass regime that was implemented earlier in the year, Tass reported Thursday, citing a city official.

Under control

Officials have been eager to downplay the spike in cases. The situation overall remains under control and a second wave can be avoided if people wear masks and follow social distancing recommendations, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Monday, according to the state-owned RIA Novosti news service.

The authorities are betting on an unproven vaccine to end the crisis. An inoculation developed by the state-run Gamaleya Center and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund is on track for wide distribution by the end of the year, even as it is still undergoing final-stage testing to establish its safety and effectiveness.

A second vaccine developed by the Vector Institute in Novosibirsk may be registered for use by the middle of this month, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday in televised comments.- Bloomberg


Also readMalaria drug chloroquine, used for Covid treatment, linked to amnesia, delirium, depression


 

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