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Putin urges Russian authorities not to fight pandemic, as situation remains “challenging”

“In some regions, the situation is difficult, let’s be clear,” Putin told a government televised meeting. “The relatively low number of infections in other regions should not reassure us, as this may raise questions about the quality of detection.

“There is no way you should try to sweeten the situation, it is unacceptable to pretend that everything is fine,” Putin added. “No one here or locally needs rosy and hidden reports [information]. “

Earlier, Putin painted a rosary picture of how Russia is coping with the pandemic, insisting in June that the country’s leadership as a whole had managed to protect citizens from the coronavirus.


7;s methods of counting coronavirus-related deaths have long been considered by independent observers and critics, who worry that the numbers could be severely underestimated. As of Wednesday, Russia had officially reported nearly 2 million Covid-19 cases and 34,387 deaths.

A CNN investigation based on highly obtained videos showing appalling conditions in Russian hospitals and overcrowded morgues, as well as an analysis of all-cause mortality data, found that the actual number of Covid-19 deaths in Russia could reach 130,000. .

In recent weeks, Russia has been experiencing an influx of infections as the country reports new records in Covid-19 cases almost daily.

“Since October 1, the average daily infection rate in the country has increased 2.5 times, from 6.1 cases to 15.3 cases per 100,000 people,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, who is in charge of Russia’s response. coronavirus. make your comments.

In Russia, 81% of hospital beds allocated to coronavirus patients are occupied, with 10 regions reporting exceeding 90% capacity, Golikova added.

Physicians wearing personal protective equipment work with a patient in a temporary medical facility set up for patients with Covid-19 in Moscow, Russia.

Golikova also announced that the second Russian vaccine against coronavirus EpiVacCorona, developed by the State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology Vector in Novosibirsk, has already entered phase 3 of clinical trials, which currently involves 3,000 participants. Earlier, Vektor said it planned to include a total of 40,000 people for the Phase 3 trials and to test the vaccine separately on groups of adults and children.

Scientists are cautious, as Russia says early data show that the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is 92% effective

To date, Russia has registered two coronavirus vaccines prior to large-scale phase 3 trials, which are key to establishing the safety and efficacy of the product, which is causing skepticism from the international community.

Golikova said Russia is increasing production of coronavirus vaccines to bring mass vaccination closer. According to her, 58,000 doses of Sputnik V, the first vaccine registered in Russia, have been in circulation since the vaccine was registered in mid-August.

“The schedules provided to us by the production sites say that in November the plan is to introduce 653,000 doses of the vaccine in circulation among the population, and in December [that would be] 2.2 million doses, “Golikova said.

She did not specify which of the population would receive the vaccine, but Russia had previously said frontline workers and teachers would be among the first to be vaccinated.

In addition to Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona will be delivered in small batches to Russian regions in the coming weeks, Golikova said.

“Vector, without waiting for the results of post-registration clinical trials, began producing the vaccine for its introduction into civilian circulation,” Golikova said. “We expect that small quantities will arrive by December 10 to inoculate the population of the Russian Federation.”

Golikova also said 79 of the 85 regions had followed a recommendation by Russian health regulator Rospotrebnadzor to close bars and restaurants between 11pm and 6am in the morning to help curb the spread of the virus.

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