Russia surpassed the symbolic threshold of a thousand daily deaths due to Covid-19 on Saturday, a sign of an epidemic in full swing against a background of sluggish vaccination of the population and very limited restriction measures.
The official government count shows 1,002 deaths and 33,208 new contaminations, records for the third consecutive day. Russia is the country hardest hit in Europe by the coronavirus.
The outbreak comes as only 32% of Russians are fully immunized, according to official data released on Saturday.
The virus is spreading as government health restrictions are very limited, even though several regions have reintroduced the requirement to present QR codes to access public places.
The Kremlin, anxious to preserve the economy, refused to all containment on a national scale, while judging “unacceptable” the low rate of vaccination of the population.
The Minister of Health Mikhail Mourachko this week questioned the “behavior” of the Russians reluctant to go to be vaccinated. The spread of the virus is also facilitated by poor respect for barrier gestures.
“People, with us, are more used to counting on themselves,” Alexeï Kouznetsov, 48-year-old entrepreneur, admitted to “being part of it” told AFP on Saturday.
“It’s no big secret: there are a lot of fake vaccinations, people who buy certificates. They don’t trust the vaccine and don’t get vaccinated, so there is no protection,” abounds Ilia Demidov, 26-year-old emergency doctor, considering that the situation “borders on disaster”.
More than half of Russians do not plan to get the vaccine, independent polls show.
Since the start of the pandemic, the government has officially recorded 222,315 deaths, the highest figure in Europe. The Rosstat statistics institute, which has a broader definition of coronavirus-related deaths, reports more than 400,000 deaths.