By Jonny Tickle
Russia’s decision to extend the country’s Covid-19 prevention measures until 2024 was made because the authorities see ‘no end in sight’ to the pandemic, which is currently killing more than 1,000 people per day there.
That’s according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who also noted that the measures could be canceled early if the epidemiological situation changes significantly.
“At first, we thought the pandemic would end in six months to a year, but now we see that we were wrong in our calculations,” Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. “We are about to reach two years into the pandemic, and so far, there is no end in sight.”
According to Peskov, the virus is currently surging throughout Europe, so it is essential to keep measures in place. However, “it is always possible” to cancel them if the pandemic “goes away,” he explained.
On Wednesday, Russia’s Covid-19 HQ revealed that 1,247 people had died due to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, an all-time high for daily deaths. The real figure is likely higher, due to the way fatalities are recorded, with Russia’s monthly ‘excess deaths’ tally considered a better indicator.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova revealed that Russia would soon be implementing some of the world’s toughest Covid-19 restrictions. From February 1, 2022, those living in Russia will need a QR code to enter stores, cultural venues, and cafes. QR codes are generated when someone is vaccinated against Covid-19 or when someone recovers from the virus.
The new rules were made with the intention of encouraging Russians to get immunized. While vaccination levels remain low, the rate of those who wish to get jabbed has surged in recent weeks.
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