Moscow has a strong increase in coronavirus cases

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Man with protective mask in Moscow – AFP

The city of Moscow on Thursday registered the highest number of new daily cases of coronavirus since the end of June, raising fears of a second wave in the fourth country most affected by the pandemic.

New daily infections were relatively stable in the capital for more than two months, at around 600-700, but the numbers started to increase from September 15.

On Thursday, Moscow recorded 1,050 new cases, the highest since June 23.

According to the city, the situation remains “under control”, with 60% of hospital beds vacant and a reserve of medicines and medical equipment.

“Nothing is over yet, the pandemic continues. We are seeing how difficult it is in European countries. In Moscow, this is not the case, ”said Moscow Mayor Serguei Sobianine last week.

Russia registered 6,595 new cases in the last 24 hours, with a total balance since the beginning of the pandemic of 1,128,836 contagions and 19,948 deaths.

Most of this increase occurred in the capital and its region, and in the country’s second city, St. Petersburg.

On September 1, the country passed one million contaminations.

Russian authorities imposed long-term confinement during the spring (northern hemisphere), especially in Moscow, which was suspended in early June in the capital and, depending on the situation, also in other regions.

The borders, closed since the end of March, have only been reopened for people from some countries.

In early August, Russia announced that it had developed the “first” vaccine against covid-19, designed by the Gamaleya research center.

– Cosmonauts do not want Russian vaccine –

In this context, Russian cosmonauts who are due to take off on October 14 for the International Space Station (ISS) said on Thursday that they do not want to receive the vaccine announced by Moscow as a cure for covid-19, due to lack of reliability.

“Personally, I would say that I will not be vaccinated, because I am very careful about this issue,” Captain Sergei Ryzhikov told a news conference in the City of Stars.

“Cosmonauts are not free to decide on their health, it is doctors who decide on vaccination,” explained the onboard engineer of the future crew, Serguei Kud-Svertchkov.

“The decision to recommend vaccination to cosmonauts will only be taken when the vaccine is tested and it is clear that it is reliable,” he added.

Sergei Ryjikov also stated that, from an epidemiological point of view, “the ISS is currently the safest place on the planet”, due to the health protocols in force.

Russia praised the effectiveness of its “Sputnik-V” vaccine against the new coronavirus, developed in record time, although it has only been formally tested on a few dozen people.

Nearly 40,000 volunteers will be vaccinated in Moscow for further testing in the coming weeks, and thousands more in other countries.

No independent study could be done with Russian research. The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed doubts about the vaccine’s real effectiveness.

However, several Russian officials have announced that they have been vaccinated with Sputnik V, such as Defense Minister Serguei Shoigu and Moscow’s mayor himself. Putin also announced that one of his daughters had been vaccinated.

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