- Russia is struggling to cope with the surge in infections caused by the highly contagious variant of Delta.
- Statistics on Wednesday showed that the number of infections nationwide increased by 21,042, bringing the number of cases in Russia to more than 5.5 million.
- One of the hot spots of the pandemic is the city of St. Petersburg, which will host the quarter-finals of the Euro 2020 in front of thousands of fans on Friday.
According to government statistics, Russia on Wednesday reported 669 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, setting a record for the number of deaths for the second day in a row.
The country is struggling to cope with the surge in infections caused by the highly contagious Delta variant and slow vaccination rates.
One of the hot spots of the pandemic is the city of St. Petersburg, which will host the quarter-finals of the 2020 Euro Cup on Friday in front of thousands of fans, many of whom have flown from abroad to participate in the competition.
President Vladimir Putin is expected to resolve the surge in a teleconference with the Russians later on Wednesday.
Officials were accused of underreporting the death toll and only counting cases where the coronavirus was found to be the main cause of death after an autopsy.
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In contrast, the authorities reported 652 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday, surpassing the record set in December last year.
In the past few weeks, the number of infections in St. Petersburg and the capital Moscow has surged, and the authorities have re-implemented virus restrictions and promoted difficult vaccination campaigns.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said that the more contagious delta variant first discovered in India accounted for 90% of cases in the capital.
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In order to curb the spread of infection, he ordered Moscow companies to send 30% of unvaccinated employees and restaurants home, and only allow internal customers who have been vaccinated or infected within the past six months to go home.
Moscow has also become the first Russian city to introduce mandatory vaccination, requiring at least 60% of service industry workers to be fully vaccinated by mid-August.
Statistics on Wednesday showed that the number of infections nationwide increased by 21,042, bringing the number of cases in Russia to more than 5.5 million.
Russia has 135,214 deaths from the virus, the country with the highest official death toll from Covid-19 in Europe.