Russia reports record daily virus cases again
MOSCOW, Oct 17, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Russia on Sunday reported a new record for
coronavirus infections for a fourth day in a row, a day after the worst-
affected country in Europe set a new death toll high.
There were 34,303 new infections and 997 deaths registered in the country
over 24 hours, according to the official toll. On Saturday, Russia recorded
1,002 deaths -- the first time daily deaths hit the one thousand mark -- and
33,208 new infections.
The climbing Covid-19 statistics come as the nation's vaccination drive is
at a standstill and with few restrictions in place.
The Kremlin, which says authorities have to ensure "the economy continues
working", has avoided re-introducing major measures despite calling the
vaccination rate unacceptably low.
It also insists Russia's medical system is not overwhelmed and could take
in the rising number of patients.
Authorities have blamed Russians for the growing outbreak.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko this week pointed to their "behaviour",
while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said everything had been done to give
the public the chance to "save their lives by getting vaccinated".
While several Russian-developed jabs have been available for months, many
people remain vaccine-sceptic.
Independent polls show more than half of Russians do not plan to get a
According to official figures, Russia's fatalities from Covid now stand at
223,312 -- the highest toll in Europe.
Under a broader definition of deaths linked to the virus, the Rosstat
statistics agency has said that by the end of August more than 400,000 people
in Russia had died with the coronavirus.