Coronavirus in Russia: The Latest News | July 22
Russia has confirmed 6,030,240 cases of coronavirus and 150,705 deaths, according to the national coronavirus information center. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is around 483,000.
July 22: What you need to know today
- Russia on Wednesday reported 23,704 new coronavirus cases and 783 deaths as the country battles the surging Delta variant. The country’s caseload, the world’s fourth-highest, has now surpassed 6 million.
- Moscow’s 119 health clinics and 45 vaccination sites began offering Sputnik V and Sputnik Lite/Light booster vaccine shots against coronavirus Thursday, according to Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin kicked off the booster campaign on July 1, urging vaccinated residents to get a third shot six months later, as the country battles the highly contagious Delta variant.
- Starting July 19, Moscow restaurants will no longer require a QR code proving one’s vaccination, immunity or negative test results to dine indoors, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Friday.
- Most service sector businesses in Moscow met a Friday deadline to ensure 60% of their workforce received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the capital’s coronavirus taskforce said. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced he would give employers who fell short another week, until 22 July, to meet the requirement.
— The Kremlin said Thursday that Moscow had no immediate plans to allow foreign coronavirus vaccines into Russia, despite the country’s sluggish vaccination rates and rising death toll in a third wave of the pandemic.
— Russia will resume reciprocal flights with France and the Czech Republic from July 24, the country’s coronavirus information headquarters announced Wednesday.
— Russia has overtaken France as having the world’s fourth-highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the World Health Organization.
— The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said on Tuesday a deal had been struck with Indian vaccine maker the Serum Institute to produce 300 million doses annually.
— Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency has ordered that airlines test all pilots and flight attendants for coronavirus once every 72 hours, the RBC news website reported.
— The republic of Buryatia in Siberia has lifted its lockdown after becoming the first Russian region to order all non-essential shops and businesses to close from June 27.
— Russia’s Black Sea coastal resorts including Sochi will require visiting tourists to vaccinate against the coronavirus within three days of arrival starting Aug. 1, regional authorities announced Friday.
— St. Petersburg authorities will ban gatherings of more than 75 people from July 13, city officials announced. Case numbers have spiked in Russia’s second-largest city as it has hosted seven matches in the football tournament.
— Moscow’s outdoor restaurant verandas will stay open to diners who lack a QR code proving their vaccination or immunity through Aug. 1. Originally, the city planned to require QR codes to dine at verandas starting July 12.
Starting July 7, Russians returning from overseas will be required to self-isolate until they test negative for Covid-19, consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said. Vaccinated or recently recovered Russians are exempt from the rule.
— A senior administrator at a western Russian clinic has been detained on suspicion of selling fake coronavirus vaccine certificates, police said. Meanwhile, Moscow police announced Thursday the city’s first criminal case against a person who had allegedly purchased a fake QR code for dining indoors at the city’s restaurants.
— The Kremlin on Tuesday said it doesn’t support closing internal borders between Russia’s regions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
— Germany’s health agency said on Monday it would lift a ban on most travelers from five countries including Russia that have been hit by the Delta variant of Covid-19. Russia will be reclassified from Wednesday as a “high-incidence area.”
— Moscow authorities announced that all patients with acute respiratory symptoms will be required to self-isolate and take express tests for COVID-19.
— Supplies of Russia’s EpiVacCorona vaccine have run out in Moscow, city authorities said Thursday, leaving Sputnik V and Sputnik Light as the only remaining vaccine options for Muscovites after supplies of the CoviVac ran out on June 22.
— President Vladimir Putin said that he was vaccinated against the coronavirus with Russia’s Sputnik V jab, lifting the veil on a months-long secret that did little to quell Russians’ vaccine hesitancy.
— Moscow will start offering booster shots of the Sputnik V vaccine for individuals who were vaccinated more than six months ago, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Thursday.
— Russia has confirmed the first Delta Plus coronavirus variant infections within its borders days after media sounded the alarm about the presence of the potentially more dangerous new strain.
— The Kremlin said that Russia no longer expects to meet its goal of vaccinating 60% of its population by the fall.
— Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that 151,000 people in Russia are currently in hospital with the coronavirus.
— Russia’s Black Sea resort city Sochi will open its first “Covid-free” beach only accessible to those who have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months or have negative PCR test results, its deputy mayor said Wednesday.
— Starting Monday, all restaurant and cafes in Moscow will require patrons to present an official QR code confirming their vaccination status, immunity or negative PCR test results.
— All Russian travelers, vaccinated or not, will have to present a negative PCR or rapid test result on arrival in Greece, Athens announced Sunday. Travelers from Russia will also have to undergo another test as soon as they arrive.
— Moscow authorities reimposed work-from-home restrictions Friday as the Russian capital posted a new daily record for Covid-19 deaths due to a surging outbreak of the Delta variant. In a decree published on his website, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered that businesses cut their number of in-office workers by 30% from June 28. Vaccinated employees would be excluded, the decree said, adding that all workers aged over 65 as well as those with pre-existing conditions would have to work from home.
— Russia is investigating reports of the first Delta Plus coronavirus variant infections within its borders, the country’s consumer protection watchdog told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Friday.
— Starting July 1, the Krasnodar region — where Russia’s resort city of Sochi is located — will require all hotels and guest houses to obtain a negative PCR test or vaccination certificate from guests. Starting Aug. 1, the region will ban entry to resorts for unvaccinated vacationers.
— Moscow authorities announced they’ll allow access to summer cafes and verandas without a QR code proving vaccination until July 12. Under-18s will also be able to enter “Covid-free” restaurants and cafes without QR codes.
— Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that 130,000 Russians are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 and another 519,000 confirmed or suspected Covid-19 patients are under doctors’ supervision. Just 15% of Russia’s hospital beds are unoccupied, Murashko said.
— The republic of Buryatia in Siberia has become the first Russian region to announce a new coronavirus lockdown, with all non-essential shops and businesses ordered to close from June 27-July 11.
— From June 28, all Moscow cafes and restaurants will only serve customers who have been vaccinated; who have had Covid-19 in the past six months; or who present a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 78 hours.
— The mayor of the southern city of Krasnodar has said he will withhold bonuses and allowances from unvaccinated city administration employees if they fall ill with the coronavirus.
— Russia will resume regular air travel with the following countries from June 28: the United States, Italy, Cyprus, North Macedonia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Jordan and Ireland, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova announced Friday. Citizens of China and Lichtenstein will also be permitted to enter the country.
— Regular flights with Turkey will resume June 22, Golikova said.
— Nearly 90% of Moscow’s new infections are the Delta variant of the coronavirus first detected in India, Mayor Sobyanin said.
— Moscow hospitals will no longer provide routine treatment to unvaccinated patients unless they require emergency care or treatment for cancer or blood diseases, officials announced. Patients with medical exemptions for vaccination will still be able to be treated.
— The Kremlin blamed “nihilism” for the lack of vaccine uptake that has helped spur a new surge in infections.
— Moscow has extended its coronavirus restrictions until June 29, Mayor Sobyanin announced. Outdoor theaters, playgrounds, food courts, children’s playrooms in malls, and zoos will remain closed through June 29. Restaurants and bars must close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Theaters, movie theaters, museums and other cultural venues will only be able to serve 1,000 people at a time. Fan zones, dance floors and other venues for mass events will be closed.
— At least 17 regions of Russia have reintroduced Covid-19 restrictions.
— The spread of the Delta variant, first detected in India, across Russia has “seriously increased” in the last two weeks, Russian health authorities said Thursday.
— Russia could allow pregnant women to start receiving the coronavirus vaccine within the next one to two weeks, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.
— Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Wednesday announced mandatory vaccination for service sector workers, saying the measure is necessary as the city grapples with 12,000 hospitalized Covid-19 patients and levels of illness equal to last year’s peaks.
— Sobyanin also announced that the city has overturned its ban on sitting on park benches.
— Russia has extended its moratorium on deportations of foreigners with expired visas for another three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a last-minute decree President Vladimir Putin signed Tuesday.
— The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine are studying the jab’s effectiveness against the so-called “Moscow strain” of the virus, they told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday.
— Authorities in St. Petersburg, which is hosting a series of Euro 2020 matches, said Monday they were tightening anti-coronavirus restrictions in an effort to curb a new spike in infections. From Thursday food courts and children’s play areas in shopping malls in Russia’s second city will be closed, and no food will be sold at Euro-2020 fan zones, authorities said in a statement early Monday.
— Universities in Moscow have been advised to switch their students to remote learning by the Science and Higher Education Ministry.
— Moscow authorities announced a “non-working week” from June 15-19 in an attempt to curb the growing number of infections. After that, businesses are advised to transfer at least 30% of their unvaccinated to working from home.
— Bars, clubs and restaurants in Moscow will be closed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. from June 13-20.
—As the city’s vaccination rate remains low, Moscow residents who receive their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine from June 14 to July 11 will be entered into a prize draw to win an automobile — with five cars a week up for grabs, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Sunday.
— Moscow authorities announced Wednesday plans to reopen field hospitals and step up mask and glove enforcement as the epicenter of Russia’s outbreak reported its highest number of new cases since the start of 2021.
— Brazil has approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for import and emergency use in several states, reversing its April decision to ban imports of the jab, its developers have said.
— Russia recorded one of its lowest monthly jumps in fatalities since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in April, according to official statistics published Friday.
— Another 1 million Muscovites will be vaccinated against coronavirus by the end of the year, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin says. So far, the city has vaccinated 1.3 million people in roughly six months.
— Serbia is starting to produce Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday, the first European nation outside Russia and Belarus to take the step.
— Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko on Wednesday ruled out compulsory Covid-19 vaccination in Russia, saying it would be a “gross violation of the law.”
— Health officials in the Omsk region in Siberia announced they will give free tickets to the Omsk State Circus to the first 1,000 people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 at the circus’ vaccination station between June 2 and July 11.
—Russia will resume flights with the United Kingdom — along with regular flights to seven other countries from June 10 — but will extend travel restrictions to Turkey for another three weeks.
—Israel has prohibited its citizens and residents from traveling to Russia until at least June 13 after placing the country on a travel blacklist, the Israeli Ministry of Health said Sunday.
—The Russian Direct Investment Fund said Thursday it has signed a supply agreement with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). 220 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will be delivered to UNICEF once the vaccine receives WHO Emergency Use Listing.
— Russia’s Health Ministry’s Ethics Committee did not grant approval for phase-two and -three clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine that combines Russia’s Sputnik V and AstraZeneca developed by Oxford University, the Pharmvestnik medical news website reported Friday
— Russia on Wednesday has started mass vaccination of pets against the coronavirus, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing Rosselkhoznadzor representative. Cornivac-Cov vaccine, the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for pets, is available in public and private veterinary clinics across several regions of Russia.
— Slovakia has approved Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developer confirmed Wednesday. The country is set to become the second EU member to use Sputnik V for large-scale inoculation.
— Russia resumed flights with Iceland, Malta, Mexico, Portugal and Saudi Arabia on May 25, state-run TASS news agency reported Monday, citing Russia’s coronavirus response center. Also starting that day, Russia will increase its number of flights with South Korea, Finland and Japan.
— Regional authorities in Russia’s republic of Sakha (formerly Yakutia) have reversed their earlier decision to introduce compulsory vaccination against the coronavirus, according to information published on a government website late on Tuesday. The authorities had initially announced that vaccination would be mandatory for certain groups of citizens, and regional employers who failed to administer coronavirus vaccines to workers could face monetary penalties.
— Russia has made deals to sell more than 205 million doses of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine across 45 countries, Forbes Russia reported Tuesday. Over 16,3 million doses, or 8% of all orders, have been delivered abroad so far with Argentina receiving the biggest share, with 6,5 million doses, or 40% of all Russia’s vaccine exports.
— More than 550 people in Russia have been found to have a more contagious U.K. strain of the coronavirus, Rospotrebnazor head Anna Popova said Thursday in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel. Another 10 patients were confirmed to have the Indian variant of the virus, while tens of patients have been infected with the South African variant.
— Russia’s former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has expressed support for compulsory vaccinations Wednesday as the country grapples with slower-than-hoped-for coronavirus vaccine uptake.
— Russia has registered cases of a rare and deadly fungal infection afflicting current and former coronavirus patients that has been on the rise in virus-stricken India, the pro-Kremlin Izvestia newspaper reported Monday.
— 42% of Russians refuse to get vaccinated against the coronavirus under any circumstances, the SuperJob.ru job portal said in a survey published Sunday.
— Moscow has reported 3,818 new coronavirus cases Friday, the highest daily count since January, as Russia returned from an extended non-working period designed to prevent a third wave of the pandemic.
— Russia has confirmed the first cases of the Indian coronavirus mutation within its borders, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing the regional consumer protection watchdog.
— More than 14 million Russians — 10% of the population — have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, with 10 million having received both doses, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said Wednesday. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the number of those vaccinated was increasing, though not as fast as the authorities would like. President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia had vaccinated some 21.5 million people so far.
— The majority of Russians (62%) are still not ready to be vaccinated with their country’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, according to a poll by the independent Levada Center published Wednesday.
— Putin said he has tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies four weeks after receiving the second dose of one of Russia’s vaccines, with a positivity coefficient of 15.
— A Hungarian lab has confirmed that the first batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine sent to Slovakia was satisfactory, Reuters reported Sunday, citing a Slovakia health ministry spokeswoman.
— Mass prayer services for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, will be banned in Moscow due to the coronavirus, the Russian Spiritual Administration of Muslims said Wednesday.
— The makers of Russia’s third coronavirus vaccine CoviVak said their tests of a live polio vaccine for preventing Covid-19 have proven effective.
— The makers of Russia’s second approved coronavirus vaccine EpiVacCorona are studying third doses to boost recipients’ immune response, a senior scientist said Wednesday.
— Turkey’s Medicines and Medical Devices Agency gave emergency authorization to Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developers confirmed Friday.
— Russia has produced 17,000 doses of Cornivac-Cov vaccine, the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for pets, the RBC news website reported Friday, citing Rosselkhoznadzor press service.
— The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Thursday it would sue Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa after it refused to import the jab.
—The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has completed a special investigation into how Russia conducted clinical trials for its Sputnik V vaccine as part of the jab’s application for approval in the EU.
— Moscow authorities on Thursday confirmed 3,215 new coronavirus infections — a 74% increase and the highest number of infections in Russia’s capital reported in a single day since January.
— Russia’s Far Eastern Magadan region will introduce a monetary rewards program for vaccinated residents in at-risk groups and those over 60 years old in an attempt to boost vaccination drive in the region, state-run Interfax reported Thursday. A similar monetary rewards program for over-60s will be introduced in Chukotka autonomous district. Eligible residents in Magadan region will receive 1,000 rubles ($13), while in Chukotka the sum will equal 2,000 rubles.
— Russia’s central Ivanovo region will introduce entry restrictions for incoming tourists over May 1-11 nationwide holidays, according to a decree published on a government website Tuesday. All tourists arriving in the region will be required to present a negative coronavirus test result, a vaccination certificate, or a certificate stating the traveler has coronavirus antibodies.
— Starting April 27, all passengers traveling from India to Russia’s airports will be required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival and submit additional PCR test results within days from the arrival date, state-run TASS news agency reported Wednesday, citing Rospotrebnazor head Anna Popova.
— All Russian schools will remain closed during a countrywide non-working period over May 1-11, state-run TASS news agency reported Tuesday, citing Russia’s Ministry of Education.
— The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Monday it had reached a production cooperation agreement with Turkey’s Viscoran Ilac pharmaceutical company. The Turkey-based manufacturer is expected to launch production of the jab over the coming months.
— Russia resumed flights with Estonia on April 25, state-run Interfax news agency reported Sunday.
— Russia has vaccinated 11.9 million people, or around 10% of its adult population, with a first dose of one of its three homemade coronavirus vaccines, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said Monday.
— Brazil’s health regulator on Monday denied a request from several states to import Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, saying it did not have the data needed to verify the jab’s safety and efficacy.
— 255 people in Russia have been found to have a more contagious U.K. strain of the coronavirus, state-run TASS news agency reported Friday, citing Rospotrebnazor head Anna Popova. Another 25 patients were confirmed to have the South African variant of the virus. The mutations were discovered in more than 50 Russian regions.
— Russia plans to resume flights with Egypt’s resort cities of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi confirmed Friday.
— President Vladimir Putin on Friday backed a proposal by the head of Russia’s health watchdog to introduce a non-working period over May 1-11 to prevent a surge in coronavirus infections.
— The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency will launch the second step of the approval process of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine on May 10, Reuters reported Thursday. Inspection of Sputnik V manufacturing practices is due to be concluded in June.
— Egyptian firm Minapharm announced Thursday it will produce 40 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for “global distribution,” marking the first partnership for the production of Sputnik V in the Middle East and North Africa. Rollout of the vaccine is expected later this year, Minapharm said in a joint statement with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
— Germany is in talks with Russia to buy 30 million doses of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once it is approved by the European Medicines Agency, Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer said on Thursday.
— Moscow will introduce a rewards program for vaccinated residents over 60 years old in a bid to boost the city’s vaccination drive, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin announced Tuesday, warning that the city’s coronavirus situation is worsening. Vaccinated residents in this age group will be eligible for discounts at regional retailers and pharmacies.
— Russian epidemiologists have detected two mutated strains of the coronavirus within the country but said they aren’t necessarily deadlier or more contagious, state-run Interfax reported Monday, citing Rospotrebnazor head Anna Popova.
— The developer of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine said Wednesday its jab did not cause blood clots, a potential side effect that has disrupted rollouts in several Western countries.
— Starting April 15, Russians returning to the country by any means of transport will be required to submit a negative Covid-19 test to the authorities within three days after arriving, state consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor announced. Previously, only those arriving by air were required to submit negative test results.
— Serbia will launch production of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in six to ten months, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported Thursday, citing Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic.
— 820,000 residents of Moscow, or 6 percent of the capital’s total population, have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine since the start of the mass vaccination campaign in December last year, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Thursday. Another 1 million have had the first vaccine dose.
— Moscow on Wednesday announced the start of production of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Serbia, the first European country outside Russia and Belarus to begin manufacturing the jab.
— France’s southeastern Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region requested a pre-order of 500,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, France’s RTL radio broadcaster reported Wednesday, citing regional president Renaud Muselier. The region will receive the order once the jab is approved by European regulators.
— Drug Controller General of India has authorized Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the jab’s developer confirmed late on Monday. India is the 60th country that has approved Russia’s vaccine.
— Moscow authorities will offer an at-home vaccination option for residents with reduced mobility starting April 13, Interfax reported Tuesday. At least 120,000 people are expected to receive the vaccine through the initiative delivered by 66 mobile teams of social workers.
— Russia will restrict flights to and from Turkey and Tanzania from April 15 until June 1 because of rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in both countries, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said Monday.
— An expert panel from India’s central drug authority has recommended granting emergency approval to Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, India’s The Economist Times business daily reported Monday. The newspaper had initially reported that India already granted emergency authorization to Sputnik V.
— Lenin’s mausoleum and the Kremlin wall necropolis will reopen to visitors on April 17, exactly five months after being shut down by the authorities in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Interfax reported Monday.
— Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute, has confirmed that Sputnik V is less effective against the South African variant of the virus, but claimed that the Russian-made jab still offers better protection against virus mutations than its rivals.
— The German government plans to talk to Moscow about buying doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine if it is approved by the European regulator, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday.
— Sputnik V’s official Twitter account on Thursday accused the Slovak Drug agency SUKL of a “disinformation campaign” against the Russian vaccine after the watchdog said the vaccines the country received differed from those reviewed by the European Medicines Agency and the medical journal The Lancet.
— Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine appears significantly less effective in combating the South African variant of the virus, a new laboratory study of 12 cases has shown.
— Germany’s Bavaria region has signed a provisional agreement to buy around 2.5 million doses of Russia‘s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine once it is approved by European regulators, state premier Markus Soeder said Wednesday.
— The European Medicines Agency will investigate whether the developers of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine went against global ethical and scientific standards in clinical trials, the Financial Times reported Wednesday.
— Russian officials are believed to have been purposefully delaying approval of China’s CanSino Biologics Inc.’s coronavirus vaccine, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The approval of the only foreign jab currently tested in Russia is delayed amid the authorities’ efforts to prioritize home-grown vaccines, unnamed sources confirmed to Bloomberg.
— Russia recorded almost 30,000 excess deaths during February, the country’s statistics agency announced Friday a figure which takes Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic above 422,000.
— The developers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine said Friday that they have come up with technology that “updates” the jab to protect against new, more-contagious strains of the virus.
— Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday has upheld the country’s nationwide mask mandate.
— Russia has approved what it says is the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for pets, the state veterinary service said Wednesday.
AFP contributed reporting.