Covid-19: almost 1,000 deaths a day in Russia

Covid infection rates have risen to their highest level ever in Russia, with close to 1,000 people dying of Covid-19 every day. This is also the highest per capita mortality rate in the world. Despite initial success with the Sputnik V vaccine, only about 30 percent of the population has been vaccinated so far. At the same time there are hardly any restrictions in public life. The crisis is taking on threatening proportions, commentators warn.

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Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Healthy population needed for a thriving economy

Economist Igor Nikolayev warns on Echo of Moscow:

“2020 showed that the economic consequences of a lockdown are incomparably greater than the consequences of the illness and increased mortality caused by Covid-19. ... But one thing has not been taken into account: when the difficult situation with illness and mortality drags on for months, it has an increasingly negative economic impact. It impacts the economy less than lockdowns, but the process is ongoing: many are sick, struggling to get back on their feet and many are dying ... Even a modern economy with its automation and intellectualisation is made up of people. ... A country whose population is dying out rapidly cannot develop rapidly.”

Vzglyad (RU) /

This wave is hitting peripheral regions

Writing in Vsglyad, physician Alexei Fyodorov reports on regional differences in infection rates:

“The fourth wave is hitting the provinces. Certainly, there are also quite a few cases in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but today's record increase in illness and mortality rates comes at the expense of the 'rest of Russia', which has long been protected from major outbreaks by its remoteness and a few restrictions. ... This will most likely be the last major wave in the capital. After this there will only be the recovered, the vaccinated, and the vaccinated and recovered. The fifth wave will only pick off a small number of the remaining non-vaccinated, and will be the weakest of all. Russia as a whole will have a harder time: Covid will continue to spread in the vast peripherial regions.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Kremlin-controlled TV does not inform viewers

Gazeta Wyborcza suspects the Russian state media is using cover-up tactics:

“In the last few days over 900 deaths per day have been registered, and a sad record was set today [14 Oct]: 986 Russian citizens died of Covid. This information is not secret, it can be found in the announcements of state institutions and on the websites of Internet agencies. But the Kremlin media are not reporting on it. Viewers of Rossia 1 or Kanal 1 - the main sources of information about the world and the country for most Russians - are not hearing anything about the frightening number of victims of the epidemic. And nor do the Kremlin's TV channels provide an overview of the pandemic situation.”

Hürriyet (TR) /

Vaccination makes all the difference

Hürriyet comments on the fact that while the number of cases is also rising in the UK, far fewer people are dying there:

“It is precisely at this point that the 'power of vaccination' comes to mind. In Britain, where vaccination was started much earlier and was rolled out faster with highly effective vaccines, the success of the campaign is now recognised, and despite the increase in the number of cases there are far fewer deaths than here in Turkey. Russia, on the other hand, is currently experiencing the opposite, and is paying for its failed vaccination campaign with the loss of many more lives.”