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1 Jul, 2021 14:59

‘We are living through an emergency’: Kremlin says tough new Covid-19 rules required as country grapples with rise in infections

‘We are living through an emergency’: Kremlin says tough new Covid-19 rules required as country grapples with rise in infections

The Kremlin has said that harsh public health measures are absolutely necessary to save lives and protect people as Russia sees a steep Delta-variant driven rise in coronavirus cases and a record number of daily deaths, this week.

Speaking to Channel One news on Thursday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, warned that the situation was extremely challenging. “There are difficulties,” he said, “and we can expect that they will go on because we are living through an emergency.”

“Another outbreak of coronavirus in Moscow and across the Russian Federation dictates the need for tough measures,” the Kremlin official added. Cases have spiked sharply in the past fortnight, and earlier this week the country twice broke the record for its highest number of daily deaths since the start of the pandemic.

New rules requiring residents of the capital to scan QR codes before entering bars, restaurants, and cafes came into force on Monday. Only those who have received two doses of a vaccine, recovered from coronavirus in the past six months, or have a clean PCR test from the past three days are eligible.

Also on rt.com Putin reveals he received Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, says he believes it's safer than Astra Zeneca or Pfizer jabs

However, Peskov said that he wished “the inability to go to restaurants would be our biggest problem.” If this was the case, he argued, “we’d all be much better off.”

Earlier this month, Moscow became the first city in the world to begin mandating that public-facing workers sign up for vaccines in an effort to tackle low levels of uptake. Companies working in sectors like tourism and hospitality must each ensure that 60% of their workforce is immunized or face hefty fines. Officials have confirmed businesses can suspend employees who refuse without pay.

On Wednesday, President Putin revealed that he had received two doses of the country’s domestically developed pioneering Sputnik V jab. “Now more than 20 million – 23 million – … have already been vaccinated [in Russia],” he said, urging more citizens to sign up for the vaccine.

Also on rt.com Russia begins re-vaccinating already inoculated people as country seeks herd immunity to defeat ever-worsening Covid-19 pandemic

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