(Moscow) The developer of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V said on Monday that it protects against “all known variants,” including the delta, which is responsible for the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in Russia.
The Russian capital and its region, as well as the country’s second city, St. Petersburg, are particularly affected by this new wave, with the result that infections have been reported and the vaccination campaign slowed down.
The Moscow region on Monday recorded the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic – 1,811 cases, while the capital recorded 7,584 new cases. As of the end of last week, the daily number of cases exceeded 9 thousand.
According to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, about 90% of new cases are due to the more contagious variant of Delta, which has appeared in India and threatens to overload hospitals in the capital.
In this context, Alexander Gunzburg, director of the Gamaleïa center, creator of Sputnik V, confirmed that the double injection “protects against all currently known variants, from the British variant to the Delta variant, the Indian variant.”
The remarks are intended to encourage the Russian population to get vaccinated as the immunization campaign lags behind amid mistrust and repeated appeals from President Vladimir Putin.
Last week, the Moscow authorities announced the mandatory vaccination of service workers. About 60% of them, or about two million people, must be vaccinated by August 15th.
St. Petersburg, which is currently hosting Euro 2020 matches and has also been hit by the outbreak, announced plans to vaccinate 65% of local officials by August.
New restrictions came into effect in the city on Monday, including a ban on the sale of food in the eurozones and the closure of food courts in malls.
The number of daily infections there exceeded a thousand cases on Monday for the first time since February.
Videos posted by local media show that a hospital in St. Petersburg is overcrowded and patients are lying on the floor.
Other videos posted on social media show overcrowded black commuter trains with mostly unmasked locals sailing from the city to the countryside in extreme heat.
Speaking to the deputies on Monday, Vladimir Putin stressed that “the danger of the coronavirus remains” and “the situation is worsening in several regions.” But he was pleased that his country “managed to soften the first, hardest hit of the epidemic” last year.
Its representative Dmitry Peskov admitted that “in fact, the situation is difficult” and “the trend is bad.”
Russia, which recorded 129,801 deaths, is the most affected European country. The statistics agency Rosstat, which has a broader definition of COVID-19-related deaths, has recorded an estimated 270,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.