Russia's Daily COVID-19 Infection Rate Hits Record Again
By RFE/RL February 09, 2022
Russian health authorities have reported 183,103 new coronavirus infections, hitting a new daily record as the highly contagious omicron variant continues to spread.
The government coronavirus force on February 9 also confirmed 669 deaths across Russia over the past 24 hours.
The task force has reported almost 13 million infections and 335,000 deaths during the pandemic so far.
Faced with the biggest virus surge yet, Russian authorities have generally resisted imposing any major restrictions and repeatedly rejected the idea of introducing a lockdown.
Russia had only one, six-week lockdown in 2020, and in October 2021 many people were also ordered to stay home from work for about a week. But beside that, life in most of the country remained largely normal, with even mask mandates being loosely enforced.
In recent weeks, a growing number of Russian regions have started introducing restrictions for those under 18, as officials noted that the current surge affects children much more than the previous ones.
In many areas, schools have either switched to remote learning or extended holidays for students. In St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, minors have been temporarily barred from most public places.
Russia started vaccinating children aged 12-17 only last month with the domestically developed Sputnik M jab, which is the same as Sputnik V but contains a smaller dose. According to media reports and social-media users, only small amounts of vaccine for teenagers have been made available.
Only about half of Russia's population of 146 million has been vaccinated so far, even though the country was among the first in the world to roll out COVID-19 shots.
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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