Moscow mayor says COVID-19 situation stabilising, but cases still high

A specialist with protective equipment transports a person on a stretcher to a hospital for COVID-19 infected patients on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, July 2, 2021. REUTERS / Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW, July 8 (Reuters) – Moscow mayor said the COVID-19 situation had gradually stabilized after a surge in infections attributable to the more contagious Delta variant, but the new daily case count remained nationwide on Thursday high.

The coronavirus task force reported 24,818 new cases in the past 24 hours, 6,040 of them in the capital. Russia also reported 734 coronavirus-related deaths, near a one-day high.

Around 66% of the COVID-19 cases Russia identified in June and early July were the Delta variant, Anna Popova, head of consumer health surveillance, was quoted as saying by the new agency TASS.

Popova said only 0.7% of Russians who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus got it.

Officials have made efforts to encourage or force Russians to get vaccinated since infections soared last month. The demand for vaccinations has been lukewarm, but authorities say it has now increased significantly.

In addition to concerns about Russian vaccines, particularly Sputnik V, there was a lack of recognition by some Western nations.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Sakharova said on her Facebook account that calls from European nations like France to say “no” to Russian vaccines were “unacceptable” or a mixture of “racism, imperial hegemony and neo-Nazism”.

The mayor of Moscow, Russia’s hardest-hit region throughout the pandemic, told residents that hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients are still very high, albeit slightly below last week’s peak.

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the city of more than 12.5 million people is now vaccinating around 100,000 people a day, which leaves the authorities free to impose new restrictions.

Moscow police said they had opened 55 criminal cases for falsified certificates for vaccinations and PCR tests. Moscow residents must have a vaccine, negative test, or immunity to enter cafes or bars.

An online black market has arisen to meet demand for people who still do not want to be vaccinated.

Police in the Kaliningrad region on Wednesday arrested a health care worker who allegedly sold vaccination certificates. Continue reading

Russia has confirmed 5,707,452 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began 18 months ago.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov Writing by Tom Balmforth and Andrey Ostroukh Editing by Mark Heinrich and Giles Elgood

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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