In Russia, the infection of a new variant of the corona virus, Omicron, reached its all-time high on Sunday. Actually, its record breaking cases have come for the third consecutive day. The National Corona Virus Task Force has reported 63,205 new infections in 24 hours. Infections have increased by more than 25% since Friday. During this time the task force reported 679 deaths.
The Omicron variant has been detected in 64 of the country’s 89 regions. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova says officials expect it to become the dominant variant now. About half of Russia’s 146 million people have been fully vaccinated. Russia was among the first in the world to approve and roll out a COVID-19 vaccine. In Russia, everyone who received their first vaccination more than six months ago is eligible for a booster shot from July.
Gogov.ru, an independent website that tracks vaccinations, estimates that 8.8 million people have received booster shots. Nevertheless, daily cases in Russia have been increasing continuously since January 10. Russia’s State Corona Virus Task Force has recorded 326,112 deaths since the start of the pandemic. This is the most alarming figure of deaths in Europe. The death toll from the pandemic is even higher, according to Russia’s State Statistical Agency, which uses comprehensive counting criteria. The agency says that the number of virus-related deaths between April 2020 and October 2021 was more than 625,000.
Russian officials believe that the current surge could be the biggest so far in the country, but so far no major sanctions have been announced to stop it. Russia has also reduced the required quarantine period for people infected with COVID-19 from 14 to 7 days, although it is not clear when this will take effect.