World, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Russia's virus cases cross 4M, new infections falling

Daily case figure at lowest point since mid-October, 1st Russian region makes masks optional for residents

Elena Teslova  | 10.02.2021 - Update : 10.02.2021
Russia's virus cases cross 4M, new infections falling File Photo


Amid a continuing decline in infections, Russia’s coronavirus case tally crossed 4 million on Wednesday.

According to the country’s emergency task force, 14,494 people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past day – the lowest figure since Oct. 17 – raising the overall count to 4.01 million.

The death toll increased by 536 to reach 78,134, while recoveries grew by 22,575 to move past 3.51 million.

There are now 418,115 COVID-19 patients under treatment throughout Russia, latest figures showed.

As new data indicates the country’s epidemiological situation is improving, one of Russia’s regions – the Republic of Udmurtia – has drastically discarded most coronavirus curbs.

Starting Feb. 12, wearing masks will not be mandatory in the region, which has previously also lifted time restrictions for eateries, cinemas, theaters, and other cultural and leisure spots.

However, Alexander Brechalov, Udmurtia’s governor, has still advised people to continue wearing masks in public places.

Commenting on the country’s COVID-19 response, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov praised the performance of Russia’s healthcare system, saying “it worked effectively.”

He said President Vladimir Putin is also satisfied with how doctors handled the coronavirus outbreak in Russia.

Russia saw an alarming surge in infections and fatalities at the beginning of the autumn and winter season, with the daily case count jumping almost six times from 5,000-plus in September to over 28,000 by December.

Along with other measures, Russia started a mass immunization campaign on Putin’s order in December, using its own Sputnik V vaccine.

As of Wednesday, over 800,000 people have been vaccinated in the country, and officials expect to reach the target of 70% of the population – the number epidemiologists say is necessary to stop the virus’ spread – by the summer.

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