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Russia: Why are COVID-19 cases still rising and falling in the rest of the world?

Russia: Why are COVID-19 cases still rising and falling in the rest of the world?

Russia: Why are COVID-19 cases still rising and falling in the rest of the world?

The data of the World Health Organization (WHO) show that between October 27 and 3 there were 9% fewer global cases of COVID-19, affirming a downward trend that is now four weeks old. However, not all territories have had good news against the virus.

Figures from the largest global health entity show that while the number of infections has fallen by 43% in Africa, 12% in America and East Asia or 20% in the Middle East and South Asia, Europe registered an increase of 5% in the rate of infections.

Regarding countries, the United States continues to lead the list of more cases registered per week with 750 thousand new infections; The United Kingdom follows with 240 thousand, Turkey with 197 thousand and then Russia with 165 thousand.

RussiaHowever, it maintains the particularity of registering an accelerated increase in the number of daily cases, unlike the other nations mentioned, which have maintained a similar rhythm in recent weeks.

Between October 1 and 5, Russia has registered more than 25 thousand daily infections – which represents three times as many cases as in the same period during 2020 – and a record of 929 deaths due to COVID-19 on October 6 .

This has led to Russia registering a total of 7′662,560 confirmed cases and 212,625 deaths from COVID-19, according to official figures. However, independent media such as “The Moscow Times” estimate that the actual death toll would be 596,000.

But why is the Eurasian giant going through one of its most difficult moments in the face of the disease?

The authorities point to the low level of vaccination as “the main cause”, in the words of Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov.

THE IMPACT OF THE UNVACCINATED

Despite the fact that Russia was the first country in the world to approve a vaccine against COVID-19 and start universal inoculation with Sputnik V on December 5, 2020, ten months later only 47.4 million of the 146 million inhabitants They have received the first dose of the vaccine and 42.2 million have the complete schedule, according to data provided by Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Gólikova and collected by the EFE agency.

Added to this, since June there has been a significant increase in the number of cases with the delta variant in the country.

The combination of both factors led Anna Popova, who heads the response against COVID-19 in the country, to alert on the “intense” growth of infections in 36 of the 85 regions of the country on September 26. In addition, according to “The Moscow Times”, he warned regional health systems to prepare for an increase in the number of patients they would receive in the following weeks.

His prognosis, unfortunately, was correct.

According to the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobianin, during the last week there was “an increase close to 30%” in the number of infections and “more than 20%” in hospitalizations.

“Most of the intensive care patients are older and the mortality of patients over 60 years of age reaches 80%”, Sobianin detailed.

The Deputy Prime Minister Gólikova, for her part, stressed that only 2% of vaccinated people have become ill.

The speech seeks to increase the confidence of the Russians in Sputnik V, damaged mainly because after 13 months of being approved as an emergency in Russia, neither the WHO nor the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have given it the go-ahead.

The approval process of the Russian vaccine is paralyzed in the WHO, according to the deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, Jarbas Barbosa, quoted in an article in the Spanish newspaper “El País.”

The refusal to approve Sputnik V from the WHO is justified by problems in the sterilization protocol and risk of cross contamination in one of the production plants detected in its last inspection carried out on September 15.

This Monday, the developers of Sputnik V assured that they were working on the modernization of quality control methods to obtain approval from international agencies, according to EFE.

MEASURES FROM THE GOVERNMENT

The Russian Government is considering different options to encourage the population to continue vaccinating. According to Gólikova, the country needs to inoculate an additional 35.9 million people to achieve herd immunity.

The options considered by the authorities are so varied, ranging from the requirement of health passes – also known as vaccination cards – to raffles in which only those who have the inoculation guideline could participate.

On September 28, the Perm and Udmurtia regions announced that they would again require the presentation of the vaccination card to attend public spaces such as cinemas, theaters and cafes, reported “The Moscow Times.”

The same media details, citing the state agency Ria Novosti, that this Tuesday, Gólikova recommended to the Federal Government that this practice be reimposed at the national level.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Tatiana Gólikova, has recommended to the Federal Government to reinstate the imposition of presenting a health card that proves that the person has received the complete vaccination schedule to access public places.  (Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova / AFP)

On the other hand, the Deputy Prime Minister also considered it “appropriate” to hold monthly lotteries until the end of the year in which only vaccinated people and “special” aid to those declared “COVID-19 free zones” could participate.

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