Sunday. 19.05.2024

The coronavirus situation in Russia continued to worsen on Saturday, with authorities reporting 21,600 new infections within one day, the highest number since the beginning of the year.

With 8,400 new cases, the situation in Europe's largest city, Moscow, is particularly dramatic.

According to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, 2.5 million doses of the Russian vaccine 'Sputnik Light' are to be delivered, the Interfax agency reported. The vaccine is intended as a booster vaccination.

In Russia, authorities on Saturday registered 619 deaths linked to the virus nationwide in 24 hours, the most since late December.

According to the report, most of the deaths - 107 - occurred in St Petersburg, where some matches of the European Football Championship are also being played.

The spike in the death rate comes even as parts of the country seem determined to return to business as usual.

Late on Friday, thousands of schoolchildren celebrated their graduation in front of the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Most of them were not wearing protective masks, the radio station Ekho Moskvy reported.

People dancing in the city centre

Tens of thousands of people were on the streets in the city centre, according to several media reports. Photos and videos showed them dancing close together and watching a large fireworks display on the Neva River during the night.

Media earlier wrote that many hospitals in St Petersburg were overloaded because of Covid-19 patients.

The authorities are of the opinion that the European Football Championship and a large economic forum at the beginning of the month had no influence on the infection situation.

In Moscow, according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, almost 90% of infections were already due to the Delta variant a week ago. There is no official figure for Russia as a whole.

Parties in St Petersburg despite hundreds of Covid-19 deaths in Russia