Moscow, 2 November 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the military to build more medical facilities for the rapidly growing number of Covid-19 patients.
The additional facilities should relieve the burden on the health system, Putin said at a meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Monday.
The number of new coronavirus infections is now exceeding 40,000 per day. Deaths have gone above 1,000 per day.
Experts suspect, however, that the numbers are in fact much higher.
“There has never been anything like this before,” Putin said.
Due to the sharp rise in infections, workers across Russia are being told to stay home until November 7. The capital Moscow and other regions are also under a partial lockdown. Most shops are closed, but supermarkets and pharmacies are still open.
The Russian leadership keeps calling on people to get vaccinated. However, only around 30 per cent of the population has received the jab.
While foreign vaccines are not approved in Russia, the country has developed five of its own.
However, many Russians do not trust the domestic vaccines, which have not yet been approved by the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency.
The high Covid-19 death toll is also affecting demographic trends.
The statistics office Rosstat said the country had 145.8 million inhabitants at the end of September, compared to 146.17 million at the end of 2020.
The number of total deaths in Russia has increased by 18.5 per cent this year, from January to September, compared to the same period last year.
According to Rosstat, 201,945 people died in September, which was about 37,000 or 18.3 per cent more deaths than in September 2020.