Russia, Hit With Virus Surge, Reopens Covid Hospitals
Faizan Hashmi 13 days ago Wed 09th June 2021 | 06:54 PM
Russia on Wednesday reported a spike in coronavirus infections and announced special hospitals would reopen to treat an influx of patients as officials struggle to encourage Russians to get vaccinated
Moscow, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Jun, 2021 ) :Russia on Wednesday reported a spike in coronavirus infections and announced special hospitals would reopen to treat an influx of patients as officials struggle to encourage Russians to get vaccinated.
The announcements marked a shift in tone for Russia, whose leader Vladimir Putin has repeatedly insisted his country had handled the pandemic better than most and has boasted of the fact that it registered the world's first Covid-19 vaccine -- which he claims is also better than all the others.
"The situation remains difficult. We're seeing a surge in infections day after day," Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in televised remarks.
He added that around 10,000 hospital beds were occupied by coronavirus patients and that the city plans to open "several more" field hospitals in the coming days.
City authorities said earlier this week that infections were on the rise and announced a veterans' hospital was being repurposed to accommodate coronavirus patients.
Russia has been among the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, with the sixth-highest number of cases in the world, according to an AFP tally.
Figures released by Federal statistics agency Rosstat show that Russia had actually recorded some 270,000 virus-related deaths by the end of April -- more than double the tally from the government's daily announcements.
Russia imposed a strict lockdown when the pandemic first swept across the country last spring.
But authorities lifted most measures within several months, opting to protect the struggling economy and pinning their hopes on curbing the outbreak with vaccines.
Officials have registered four homegrown vaccines -- Sputnik V, it's single-dose version Sputnik Light, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.
While Russia's domestic vaccination campaign started in early December, ahead of most countries, so far only around 18 million Russians -- or 12 percent of the population -- has received at least one dose of a vaccine. That compares with almost 50 percent of the adult population in the EU.
President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called on Russians to get immunised as authorities struggle to ramp up vaccination efforts.
According to a recent survey by the independent Levada-Center, over 60 percent of respondents said they do not intend to be vaccinated.
Independent sociologists say vaccine hesitancy is a sign of a breakdown in trust between Russians and the authorities after decades of Kremlin propaganda.