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COVID-19 Cases Hit New Highs In Russia

Russia reported another sharp rise in fresh COVID-19 cases on June 13, a day after the mayor of Moscow told residents of the Russian capital to say home from work next week to curb the spread of the virus.

Russia reported 14,723 new COVID-19 cases, including 7,704 in Moscow, the largest one-day national caseload since February 13.

The number of new infections in Moscow was the most reported in one day since December 24.

The coronavirus task force said that 357 people had died of coronavirus-related causes nationwide, taking the death toll to 126,430.

The federal statistics agency has kept a separate toll and has said that Russia recorded about 270,000 deaths related to COVID-19 between April 2020 and April 2021.

“We are now observing an increase in the hospitalizations of young people. This number has been growing day by day,” Aleksei Pogonin, chief doctor at Moscow’s Sergei Spasokukotsky Clinical Hospital, told reporters on June 13, adding: “Our reserve of beds will not be sufficient for a long time.”

On June 12, Anastasia Rakova, Moscow’s deputy mayor for social development, said that about 78 percent of beds for coronavirus patients were occupied in the city’s hospitals.

Meanwhile, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said restaurants, bars, and similar venues in the city may not serve customers after 11 p.m. until at least June 20.

And enforcement of mask- and glove-wearing on public transportation and in public places will be bolstered, with violators facing fines of up to 5,000 rubles ($70).

Sobyanin said Moscow authorities “expected that the spring pandemic peak would fall in April-May, just like last year,” but that “now we’re seeing that it has shifted toward June-July.”

Sobyanin has estimated that around half of Moscow residents now have some level of immunity against the virus, presumably from previous infection or vaccination, although the source of that figure was unclear.

Interfax on June 12 quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that 18 million Russians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Russia has around 144 million people.

Russia approved Sputnik V, the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, for use beginning last August, but authorities have struggled to ramp up vaccination efforts.

With reporting by Interfax, TASS, and Reuters

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