Russian daily Covid-19 deaths hit record high but lawmakers rule out lockdown

Russia has reported a record number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, data from the country's Coronavirus Response Center showed on Oct. 16. Healthcare workers and a patient are seen in an intensive care unit at the Kalachevskaya Central District Hospital in Russia's Volgograd region on October 12.

Russia has reported a record number of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, data from the country's Coronavirus Response Center showed Saturday.

In the past 24 hours, 1,002 people have died with Covid-19. The previous record was reported Friday, with 999 Covid-related deaths in a 24-hour period.

The country has also reported a new all-time record of daily coronavirus cases for the third day in a row. On Saturday, authorities reported that 33,208 new cases of Covid-19 had been diagnosed in the past day.

Despite the record numbers, lawmakers continue to reject the introduction of a country-wide lockdown. The speaker of Russia's Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, said the move was unreasonable.

"The situation is not easy. But there are no grounds for introducing a federal lockdown," Matvienko reportedly said, according to state news agency TASS.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday urged lawmakers to convince the country's citizens to get vaccinated.

"You know that the number of infections is growing in many regions and medical specialists are working in difficult conditions. We all know well that vaccination can save us from the virus and from a severe course of the disease. It is necessary to step up the vaccination pace," Putin said.

Russia has lagged behind much of the world when it comes to getting its population inoculated, despite being the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, for use in August 2020.

Not getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is "really irresponsible," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday. But as long as doctors cope with the flow of patients with Covid-19, emergency measures will not be taken, he added.

Peskov also said Thursday that Putin would get a booster shot when doctors deem it necessary, according to TASS.

"Everything will depend on the recommendations of specialists. The President is very attentive to this. As soon as specialists come to an understanding of the need for revaccination, this will be done," Peskov said, in answer to a question.

Russia's official death toll due to Covid-19 now stands at 222,315 since the beginning of the pandemic, the highest number in Europe. The actual number is believed to be much higher though, due in part to the way Russia classifies coronavirus deaths.

The total number of identified Covid-19 cases in Russia has risen to 7,958,384 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Data from Russia's coronavirus taskforce released Saturday suggests around 45% of the population may have immunity to Covid-19 through vaccination or infection.

Some regions in Russia are introducing certain restrictions locally due to an increase of Covid-19 infections. Several regions have introduced QR codes allowing only vaccinated people and recovered patients to visit restaurants and public events.

Events with more than 3,000 participants are banned throughout the country in connection with the pandemic, the head of the Rospotrebnadzor health watchdog, Anna Popova, said on October 4, according to state media outlet RIA Novosti. For some regions, the restrictions are tougher depending on the severity of the coronavirus situation.


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