Hundreds of leading Moscow doctors and healthcare professionals staged a decadent “Medics’ Ball” as the Russian capital struggled to get the third wave of the pandemic under control.
Over 400 doctors, pharmacists and heads of clinics and pharmacies attended Sunday’s black-tie event just a day after Moscow recorded its highest number of new Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic.
The third annual Medics' Ball at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre in the city center featured performances by a symphony orchestra, famous ballet dancers and opera singers and was held without face masks or social distancing.
According to the event’s website, all attendees were required to present a negative Covid-19 test or an official certificate showing they’ve received at least one vaccine dose.
Organizers said that all proceeds from the ball, held on Russia’s Medical Worker Day, would go to doctors affected by the fight against coronavirus.
Late last week Moscow authorities banned mass gatherings of over 1,000 people and closed its dance floors and football fan zones days after announcing mandatory vaccination for service workers.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that the city is “starting from scratch” in its fight against the pandemic as the highly contagious Delta variant first detected in India accounts for 90% of new cases. Meanwhile, ongoing reluctance among Russians to get vaccinated with one of four domestically developed vaccines makes it easier for the virus to spread.