Moscow mayor says COVID-19 situation stabilising, but cases still high

Moscow mayor says COVID-19 situation stabilising, but cases still high
# 09 July 2021 00:43 (UTC +04:00)

Moscow's mayor said the COVID-19 situation was gradually stabilising after a surge in infections blamed on the more contagious Delta variant, but the new daily case tally remained high nationwide on Thursday, APA reports quoting Reuters.

The coronavirus task force reported 24,818 new cases in the last 24 hours, including 6,040 in the capital. Russia also reported 734 coronavirus-related deaths, close to a record daily high.

Around 66% of COVID-19 cases that Russia identified in June and early July were the Delta variant, Anna Popova, consumer health watchdog head, was quoted by TASS new agency as saying.

Popova said only 0.7% of Russians who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus caught it.

Officials have been scrambling to encourage or compel Russians to get vaccinated since infections began rising steeply last month. Demand for vaccination had been tepid, but authorities say it has now picked up significantly.

Adding to concerns about Russian vaccines, Sputnik V in particular, was lack of recognition by some Western nations.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Facebook account that calls from European nations such as France to "say no" to Russian vaccines were "unacceptable", or a hybrid of "racism, imperial hegemony and neo-Nazism".

The mayor of Moscow, Russia's worst-hit region throughout the pandemic, told residents that hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients were still very high, though down slightly from a peak last week.