Russia registered its highest number of daily coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic Tuesday as a growing list of Russian regions imposed vaccine mandates in an attempt to slow the course of the virus.
The government’s coronavirus information center reported 973 fatalities over the past 24 hours.
Russia has now posted record numbers of Covid-19 deaths for 10 of the last 14 days, as a fourth wave of the virus spreads rapidly across the country amid low vaccination rates.
The information center’s official death toll stands at 218,345 — Europe’s highest — while Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the pandemic is at least 660,000, according to The Moscow Times' analysis.
Roughly 235,000 of Russia's 255,000 Covid hospital beds nationwide are occupied, with 6,000 patients on ventilators, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Tuesday, adding that nearly all patients in serious condition have not been vaccinated.
According to Rospotrebnadzor head Anna Popova, 38 of Russia’s 85 regions have introduced vaccine mandates for certain categories of citizens and employees working in designated sectors of the economy, such as retail and hospitality.
Only 31% of Russia’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and opinion polls show more than half of the country does not plan to receive a jab.
Some officials have even proposed fining Russians who refuse to be vaccinated — an option the Kremlin said it was not entertaining earlier Monday.
Russia recorded 28,190 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, according to the government’s virus information center, just below the record daily toll and one of the highest levels in the world.