The health alert in Russia, which today marked new all-time highs for mortality and infections due to coronavirus covid-19, has forced to close the regions most affected by the pandemic a week before the rest of the country.
“We have already wasted too much time! A real war is taking place in the red zone of hospitals across the country, ”said Denis Protsenko, director of Moscow Hospital 40 and the country’s most famous doctor at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus.
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Since mid-October more than a thousand Russians have died daily due to the coronavirus, to which we must add the infections, which exceed 36,000. In the last 24 hours, 1,075 Russians died, a new record since the outbreak of the pandemic.
One week before the whole country goes on paid vacation by order of the president, Vladimir Putin, several regions have decided to take drastic measures starting on Saturday.
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The Government mentioned about twenty regions where the epidemic situation is out of control, mostly in the European part of the country, although it also includes Siberian regions such as Tomsk, Omsk or Amur.
For the moment, regions such as Kursk, Novgorod, Volgrograd or Samara have already announced the closure, while the same is expected to happen with others as of Monday.
“Non-work days like this one will be repeated over and over again until we get mental and start respecting those around us: wearing a mask in public places and not going to work with symptoms of respiratory diseases”Protsenko said on his Telegram channel.
Each region has the power to choose the measures to take, although since the beginning of the pandemic all tend to follow the line marked by the epicenter of the pandemic, Moscow, where non-essential services will be closed as of the 28th, with the exception of pharmacies and supermarkets.
NON-WORK DAYS, NO HOLIDAYS
In the capital, schools will close as of Monday, while those over 60 will not be able to leave home until February.
“At the end of this week and at the beginning of the next we will reach the peak of infections, record figures in the entire history of the pandemic”, the mayor, Sergey Sobianin, alerted.
What’s more, In Moscow, teleworking will also return for 30% of unvaccinated workers and those who have not had the disease.
When Putin announced holidays in April 2020, many Russians traveled to the Black Sea coast or organized barbecues in the countryside, forcing the authorities to take severe measures.
On this occasion, travel agencies have already reported a 50% increase in the demand for flights, mostly to destinations in the interior of the country.
In this regard, Protsenko did not hide his indignation and warned that “there will be no party” during these days, since the objective is not to rest but to stop “several cycles of infection.”
Sobianin also called on Muscovites to refrain from traveling and limit themselves to going out for walks in parks or spending several days in dachas or country houses.
THE VACCINE THAT DOES NOT ARRIVE
From Putin, which this week expressed its “perplexity” at the refusal of people with higher education to be vaccinated, to the health authorities, all agree that the reluctance to inoculate is the main cause of the dramatic increase in cases since August.
“No miracle happened, the pandemic has not disappeared. Anti-vaccines and other fighters against elementary security measures are contributing significantly to the development of the epidemic situation ”, Protsenko lamented.
The doctor was one of the five heads of the list of the Kremlin party in the recent legislative elections, but this did not encourage vaccination among Russians.
Only a third of Russians have been vaccinated with the full regimen. In the case of those over 60, the figures are even more alarming. In the case of Moscow, only 1.14 of a total of 3 million have been shot with vaccines such as Sputnik V, not yet approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Ministry of Health authorized late on Friday the possibility of simultaneously being vaccinated against covid-19 and against the flu, since recent investigations showed that this practice does not reduce their immunological potential.
For this reason, he expressed his confidence that this option, “more comfortable for citizens”, will serve as an “additional stimulus” for Russians to be vaccinated.
Another spur should be the new cases of the new subvariant of the delta strain, AY.4.2., Detected this week in the Moscow region, although the Russian authorities specified that it is “probably” only 10% more contagious.
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