(Moscow) Russia announced on Tuesday that there have been 737 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, a record since the start of a pandemic for a country affected by the Delta variant.
This is the first time that Russia, the fifth most infected country in the world, has overcome the 700 daily deaths from the coronavirus.
The country also reported 23,378 new cases, the highest rate since mid-January, when the country emerged from its second wave. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 5.6 million infections have been identified.
Russia has set six death records in the past eight days as its fight against the virus is complicated by a sluggish vaccination campaign.
Launched in December, it has so far convinced only 26.1 of 146 million Russians, or just under 18% of the population. Of these, 18.2 million Russians (12.5%) received two doses, according to Gogov’s website, which combines data from regions and the media due to a lack of official statistics.
The population is still very skeptical about vaccines. A poll by the independent Levada Center published this week showed, for example, that 54% of Russians are not planning to get vaccinated.
In several regions of Russia, including Moscow, the authorities have taken measures to encourage the population to vaccinate, for example, by introducing a health passport for visiting a restaurant.
The mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobyanin, also ordered that 60% of service workers be vaccinated by mid-August, even if this means the suspension of those who refuse the vaccine.
The Kremlin, which has admitted it cannot meet its target of 60% vaccinated by August, is now abandoning any national restrictions to keep the fragile economy alive.
The pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 139,316 people across the country, according to official statistics. The statistics agency Rosstat, which has a broader definition of coronavirus-related deaths, nevertheless recorded 270,000 deaths at the end of April.