Moscow, Russia | On Saturday, Moscow set a new record for coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, as it recorded 9,120 infections within 24 hours, according to government figures.
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The Russian capital had already identified 9,056 new cases the previous day, compared to about 3,000 daily cases two weeks earlier.
The outbreak of Covid-19, according to the authorities, is due to the delta variant, which appeared in India and threatens to flood hospitals in the capital.
The country recorded a total of 17,906 new cases and 466 additional deaths in the past 24 hours, a peak since March 13. The capital deplores 76 new deaths.
Faced with this situation, Moscow’s deputy mayor, Anastasia Rakova, announced that the city will increase the number of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients from 17,000 to 24,000 over the next two weeks.
The epicenter of the epidemic in Russia, the capital of about 12 million people recorded more than half the number of infections in the country on Saturday.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Friday that nearly 90% of patients had the delta type.
He has been forced to reimpose restrictions in the capital, but they remain limited in order to preserve the economy.
On Friday, the mayor announced the cancellation of entertainment events for more than 1,000 people, closing the European football fan zone at the Luzhniki Olympic complex.
He extended until June 29 the lockdown, which was issued last weekend, by closing eating places in malls, or public park facilities, such as playgrounds, and closing restaurants and bars between 11pm and 6am.
Sobyanin also issued a decree on Wednesday on the compulsory vaccination of workers in the service sector. About 60% of them, or about 2 million people, should be vaccinated by August 15.
The grueling vaccination campaign helped the recent outbreak, with Russians deeply suspicious of the vaccines developed in their country, the lack of restrictions for months and the failure to comply with the rules of distancing and wearing masks.
Since December, only 19.4 million Russians out of 146 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, or about 13% of the population, according to the Gogov website, which compiles data from regions and the media due to a lack of official national statistics.
Russia is the deadliest European country, with 128,911 deaths by the government. Russia’s statistics agency, Rosstat, which has a broader definition of Covid-related deaths, has recorded about 270,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.