Moscow, Russia | President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered a major weekend holiday in Russia in early November and appealed to many wise people to be vaccinated in an effort to control the uncontrolled Govt-19 epidemic.
As a sign of the seriousness of the situation, the country, already the most miserable in Europe, on Wednesday set a new record of daily deaths due to Govt-19, with 1,028 deaths, and 34,073 pollution, according to government figures.
Russia has been facing an epidemic since June, when authorities were unable to control it under the combined action of a delta variant of the virus, with highly contagious, lethargic vaccines and weak health controls.
In an effort to prevent the epidemic, Mr. Putin ordered that the period from October 30 to November 7 be declared inactive, and this decision was announced at the end of a government meeting dedicated to Govt-19.
The Russian president offered the regions the opportunity to start earlier or extend the holiday week if the epidemic situation requires it.
He also urged the most reluctant Russians to be vaccinated.
“Please be responsible,” he said, “there are only two ways to get out of this (epidemic) time: by getting sick or by getting vaccinated”. He called Russia’s low vaccination rate “dangerous.”
In the past, the Russian president has repeatedly ordered paid holidays in an effort to control the epidemic. Announced for a short period of time, these non-working periods are sometimes extended to longer weeks.
Mr. Putin has always wanted the move to be aimed at controlling the movement of people and therefore the virus, rather than controlling the population, which has the risk of undermining the weak economic recovery.
Nevertheless, the Kremlin, which until then had mainly left the regions to take their own health measures, seems determined to act in the face of the deteriorating situation.
The vaccine is lagging behind
Russia has so far recorded nearly 230,000 deaths from Covid-19, drastically underestimating the government’s figure, and the National Statistics Agency Rosstad, for its part, estimated more than 400,000 deaths by the end of August.
In the face of this observation, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sofianin on Tuesday announced “emergency measures” to protect vulnerable sections, especially the elderly, while the number of serious cases is increasing “day by day”.
Moscow authorities have ordered that 80% of public service workers, now between January 1 and 2022, must vaccinate all those over 60 who have not been vaccinated between October 25 and February 25. At least 30% of company employees.
For many experts, the fight against the virus is being waged in the vaccine industry, where Russia lags behind, one of the first countries to develop serum against COVID-19.
In fact, less than a third of the approximately 144 million Russians are fully vaccinated, and the vast majority of people are skeptical of locally produced vaccines, according to Koko, a specialized site that produces daily reports.
More than half of Russians do not plan to be vaccinated, according to independent opinion polls.
Faced with this situation, the Kremlin seems to have lost patience. Its spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday called on the Russians to be “more responsible” rather than “blaming the state for everything.”
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Russians.
Faced with vaccine reluctance despite the outbreak of the epidemic, some Russian regions have reintroduced the obligation to issue a health pass to access public places.
Thus, St. Petersburg, the second largest city in the country, announced on Monday, November 1, the establishment of such certification for restaurants and shops from December 1 to allow access to sporting or cultural events that bring together more than 40 people.