Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases in Russia hit new high

Coronavirus

A nurse wearing a face mask fills a syringe with Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac) before proceeding to a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a clinic in Moscow on December 5, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic. – Russian President has told authorities to begin “large-scale” vaccinations among at-risk populations. The drugs should be made generally available to the Russian public in early 2021. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

MOSCOW (AP) — Coronavirus infections in Russia hit a new record on Sunday, as the country’s authorities registered 29,039 new confirmed cases, the highest daily spike in the pandemic.

Russia’s total of over 2.4 million reported infections remains the fourth largest caseload in the world. Russia has also reported 43,141 virus-related deaths.

Russia has been swept by an increase of the virus this fall, with daily confirmed infections and deaths significantly exceeding those reported in the spring. Nevertheless, Russian authorities have rejected the idea of another nationwide lockdown or any widespread closures of businesses.

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin ordered a “large-scale” vaccination against COVID-19 to begin in Russia with the domestically developed Sputnik V vaccine that is still undergoing advanced studies needed to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Doctors and teachers will be first in line to get inoculated, Putin said.

Sputnik V has been offered to medical workers for several months even though the vaccine was still in the middle of advanced trials. Several top Russian officials said they had already gotten the required two jabs. The Russian military this week began vaccinating the crews of navy ships scheduled to depart on a mission.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said Wednesday that more than 100,000 people in Russia have already received the shots.

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