Coronavirus situation in Russia continues deteriorating
Russian authorities report higher number of daily coronavirus cases, deaths
With 17,594 more coronavirus infections reported on Wednesday, Russia's overall case count rose to 5.36 million and active cases to 335,508, authorities said.
The death toll rose to 130,895 after the virus claimed 548 more lives over the last 24 hours, according to the country's coronavirus emergency task force.
Over the same period, recoveries went up by 12,660 to reach 4.9 million, it added.
Moscow remains the worst-hit region, with its Mayor Sergey Sobyanin warning that the incidence rate had reached record levels.
Sobyanin said he expects the situation to improve as vaccinations gain speed in the capital, with 60,000 people registering for a jab over the past day.
He ruled out lifting restrictive measures before 60% of the population is inoculated against the disease.
The Moscow mayor said the Indian strain -- Delta COVID-19 -- is raging Russia's capital, and 90% of all new patients are infected with this strain of the virus.
Sobyanin added that a record 53,000 infections were reported in Moscow over the past week, provoking the officials to toughen the epidemiologic measures.
"The measures we have taken in Moscow are harsh and unpopular, but in the situation we are in, we need to take such steps," he said.
Last week, officials in several Russian regions, including Moscow and its surrounding Moscow Oblast, ordered mandatory vaccination of service-sector employees, introducing penalties for non-compliance.
Starting in June, cafes, restaurants and other venues in Moscow will be available only for those who have been vaccinated, tested negative for the coronavirus, or recovered from the disease within the last six months.
A temporary ban was introduced on June 22 against holding concerts or entertainment and sports events with more than 500 people at once. Fan zones and dance floors must be closed regardless of the number of participants at the event.
Venues with "COVID-free" zones are eligible to be exempt from the restrictions.
The new measures do not affect events with fewer than 500 participants, though Moscow authorities recommend organizers require attendees to prove that they have been vaccinated or are otherwise not at risk of infection.
Russian gov't discusses coronavirus situation
The Russian government held a meeting on Wednesday over the recent developments about COVID-19 in the country.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova noted "an explosive spread" of coronavirus in Russia, the country's caseload increased by 29.4% over the last week and coronavirus mortality rate by 21.3%, she said.
Golikova announced that the government eyes additional restrictive measures, including a complete ban on mass events.
Moscow, Moscow Oblast, and the second-large city of Saint Petersburg account for almost half -- 47% -- of all new infections, Golikova added.
Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 3.88 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 179 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
The US, India, and Brazil remain the worst-hit countries.
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