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  21 Jan 2022, 16:44

Russia sees record daily virus cases amid Omicron surge

  MOSCOW, Jan 21, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Russia on Friday reported a record number
of new coronavirus infections over the previous 24 hours, a government tally
showed, with officials warning of surging cases driven by the Omicron
variant.

   A government website reported 49,513 new infections in Russia, which is
already one the world's worst-hit countries by caseload, surpassing the
previous record set in November of 41,335.

   The number of cases across Russia has risen sharply in recent days, with
authorities predicting an imminent surge due to the fast-spreading Omicron
variant.

   The new record set comes one day after Moscow -- the epicentre of the
outbreak in Russia -- said it had seen its highest number of new cases.

   Russian President Vladimir Putin warned last week that the country had two
weeks to prepare for a surge in cases, calling for more testing and
vaccinations.

   The developers of Russia's flagship vaccine, Sputnik V, said this week
that its jab demonstrated "strong protection" against Omicron, pointing to a
study carried out by the Spallanzani Institute in Italy.

   With four vaccines widely available for months, Russians remain reluctant
to get jabbed with just under half of the population fully vaccinated.

   Russia's government figures have reported 324,752 deaths from Covid-19
since the start of the pandemic -- the highest death toll in Europe.

   Those figures are contradicted by statistics agency Rosstat, which counts
Covid deaths under a broader definition and says the overall death toll is
close to double the official figure.

  

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