As of Nov. 9, Russia will allow the resumption of commercial flights to Thailand and a number of other countries. The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Iran, Slovenia and Oman are also on the list, according to a report by Reuters and AFP. All international commercial flights were grounded last year when the Covid19 virus spread.
Other restrictions have since been eased, but Russia is grappling with a spate of infections due to the slow pace of vaccine rollouts, coupled with widespread vaccine hesitation. Yesterday, Russia reported a new record of 31,299 new infections and 986 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country now holds the dubious honour of being Europe’s highest in Covid19 deaths, with 220,315 dead. Only 31% of the population has been fully vaccinated, while the virus is on the rise for lack of strict prevention measures. The government opposes a return to severe restrictions and insists that the economy be kept afloat.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says it is up to people to get vaccinated to end the rise in Covid-related deaths.
“It is irresponsible not to get the vaccine.”
A number of Covid-19 vaccines have been developed in Russia, including the single-dose Sputnik Light, which manufacturers claim is 70% effective against the highly contagious Delta variant. Despite this, hesitation about vaccines is widespread, with independent polls showing that more than half of the population say they will not be vaccinated.
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