In Russia, 83% of COVID hospital beds are filled amid surge

MOSCOW , -- Russian authorities announced Wednesday that nearly 83% of COVID-19 patient beds are full. However, daily counts of new infections and deaths continue to rise.

In Russia, 83% of COVID hospital beds are filled amid surge

MOSCOW , -- Russian authorities announced Wednesday that nearly 83% of COVID-19 patient beds are full. However, daily counts of new infections and deaths continue to rise.

Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister, stated Wednesday at a meeting of the government that 82.8% (301.500) of the hospital beds for coronavirus patients had been filled by Tuesday morning.

Golikova, the head of the state coronavirus taskforce in the country, said Wednesday that "so far we cannot confidently say the situation has stabilized" and that the spread has decreased.

Wednesday's coronavirus death record was 1,239 by the task force, an increase of Tuesday's record of 1,211. Officials also reported 38.058 new infections. Since October, approximately 40,000 new infections and more than 1,100 deaths were reported each day.

Russia's fall surge in deaths and infections is due to low vaccination rates, lax attitudes towards taking precautions, and the unwillingness of the government to tighten restrictions.

Only 40% of Russia's nearly 146,000 million inhabitants have been fully vaccinated, despite the fact that Russia approved a COVID-19 vaccine several months earlier than most other countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin directed many Russians to stop working between Oct. 30th and Nov. 7. Although he authorized the regional governments to increase the non-working days as necessary, only five Russian regions did so.

Others restrict access to theaters, restaurants, and other public spaces to people who are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 treatment within the past six months.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, stated earlier this week that it is still to be seen if the non-working period pays off.

Authorities in St. Petersburg made mandatory vaccinations for people over 60 years old and with chronic diseases on Tuesday. It is Russia's second-largest city and second most affected region. Residents of St. Petersburg who fall under either one of these categories must have their first shot by Dec. 15, and then complete their vaccinations before Jan. 15.

Russia currently offers four vaccines that have been developed in Russia, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light being the most popular.

Sputnik V was approved by the government last August. However, it received much criticism from abroad and fanfare in the home. It had been only tested on a handful of people at that time. A study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in February found that the Sputnik V was 91% effective. It appears to prevent people inoculated with COVID-19 from getting seriously ill.

CoviVac and EpiVacCorona, two other Russian vaccines have been approved by regulators. Experts say this approval is necessary to ensure that they are safe and effective in accordance with scientific protocols. Both vaccine developers have yet to release the results from these trials.

The total number of confirmed infections in Russia by the state coronavirus taskforce is 8.9 million. This makes it the most deadly country in Europe. Experts believe this to be an undercount.

Rosstat, Russia's statistical service, reports that coronavirus-linked deaths are retroactively tallied shows a much higher death rate: 462,000 COVID-19 patients died between April 2020 & September 2019.

Russian officials claim that the task force includes only deaths where COVID-19 is the primary cause. They also use data from medical facilities. Rosstat uses a wider range of criteria to count virus-related deaths. It draws its numbers from civil registry offices that register a death.

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