Kremlin says health care is under heavy strain as COVID-19 deaths reach new highs

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russia’s health system was under severe strain as authorities reported a record 491 deaths compared to COVID-19 and infections.

Russia resisted the introduction of national confinement restrictions as at the beginning of the year, favoring targeted regional measures, even though thousands of cases are reported daily, with 24,326 new infections occurring on Tuesday.

“The health care system is under heavy strain, but with the exception of a few regions … the situation is still under control,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“This is an epidemiological challenge that all countries in the world have faced,” he said. “We have not encountered such challenges in either new or modern history.”

According to Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, the rate of infections was higher than the national average in 32 of more than 80 regions of Russia, news agencies reported.

Russia was the first to grant official approval for COVID-19 vaccination in August, after less than two months of human testing, and large-scale trials are underway.

Regulators approved the second vaccine in October, also a large-scale, III. Before an experiment known as Phase.

Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine will cost less than $ 20 per person in international markets, and Moscow plans to produce more than a billion doses next year at home and abroad, supporters and developers said Tuesday.

Anna Popova, head of the Rospotrebnadzor Consumer Health Inspectorate, says the virus is seasonal, the most active in winter, and can return every year.

Russia has a huge test program and is now conducting four to six times more tests than it did in April, he added.

With a population of about 145 million, Russia achieved the fifth most cases, 2,138,828, after the United States, India, Brazil and France. The official national death toll is 37,031.

(Report by Gleb Stolyarov, Maxim Rodionov, Dmitry Antonov and Alexander Marrow; edited by Kevin Liffey and Ed Osmond)