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For the first time, daily Corona injuries in Russia are close to 200

The government’s coronavirus task force counted 19,076 new infections in the past 24 hours, an increase of about 14,000 from the previous day and double the number two weeks ago. The task force also reported 701 deaths. While infections have risen dramatically, daily deaths in recent weeks have remained steady between nearly 600 and 700.

According to Anna Popova, head of the Russian Public Health Agency, the highly contagious omicron mutant accounts for 60 percent of current infections.

Despite the increase, Russian officials resisted imposing any significant restrictions. Moreover, the government recently lifted seven-day self-isolation restrictions for those who come into contact with COVID-19 patients. The mandatory isolation of those who tested positive for the virus was also cut from 14 to seven days, and the requirement to take a negative test to end isolation was abolished.

Russia has only been locked down once, for six weeks in 2020, and in October 2021 many people were ordered to stay away from work for about a week. But other than that, life in most parts of the country has remained largely normal.

In recent weeks, a growing number of Russian regions have begun to impose restrictions on those under 18, with officials noting that the current increase is affecting children much more than its predecessors. In many areas, schools have either switched to distance learning or extended leave for students. In Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, minors were temporarily banned from entering most public places.

Russia only started vaccinating children aged 12-17 last month with the locally developed Sputnik M vaccine. According to media reports and social media users, only small amounts of the vaccine have been made available to teens.

Only about half of Russia’s 146 million population has been vaccinated so far, even though the country was among the first in the world to launch COVID-19 vaccines.

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