Russia registered its highest number of daily coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic Tuesday as a growing list of Russian regions imposed vaccine mandates in an attempt to slow the course of the virus.
The government’s coronavirus information center reported 973 fatalities over the past 24 hours.
Russia has now posted record numbers of Covid-19 deaths for 10 of the last 14 days, as a fourth wave of the virus spreads rapidly across the country amid low vaccination rates.
The information center’s official death toll stands at 218,345 — Europe’s highest — while Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the pandemic is at least 660,000, according to The Moscow Times’ analysis.
Citing unnamed government sources, Russian state media has reported that at least 72 of Russia’s 85 regions have either already introduced mandatory vaccinations, or are planning to, for certain categories of the population, such as those working in the public sector, retail and hospitality.
Only 31% of Russia’s population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and opinion polls show more than half of the country does not plan to receive a jab.
Some officials have even proposed fining Russians who refuse to be vaccinated — an option the Kremlin said it was not entertaining earlier Monday.
Russia recorded 28,190 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, according to the government’s virus information center, just below the record daily toll and one of the highest levels in the world.