Moscow’s infection rate is still growing and the rate is also starting to rise in St Petersburg and in the Moscow region, Chris Weafer, founding partner of Macro-Advisory in Moscow, wrote in a note to investors on June 29, adding that deaths are at a record level and extra hospitals have been opened.
According to Weafer, the continued high infection rate has led to new restrictions in Moscow. Indoor visitors to restaurants must show QR codes proving either vaccination or prior infection. From July 12, these restrictions will apply to outdoor dining areas also. Events with more than 500 spectators are banned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin appear to have distanced themselves from the latest unpopular restrictions, leaving it to the Mayors of Russia’s two largest cities to take any flak. “It is clear that the Kremlin does not want to impose a major lockdown, which would both slow the economic recovery and question Putin’s recent claim of victory over the virus,” Weafer wrote.
Avoiding an official lockdown also means that the state does not have to provide compensation or financial support for businesses affected, Weafer wrote, adding that small businesses in the catering and consumer services sectors will be most affected.
The Macro-Advisory expert, noted that foreigners are left in limbo. As of June 28, there is no provision to allow foreigners or Russians with a foreign vaccine to get a Q Code or to otherwise be allowed into restaurants. They will have to get a 72-hour PCR test.
Meanwhile, Russia has announced the easing of travel routes to some countries – but others, such as Germany, France and Ireland have placed Russia on their red travel lists. Some others, such as Greece, are requiring travelers from Russia to have a negative PCR test.
Vaccination approaches 12% in Russia
Only about 11.4% of the population has been vaccinated, and 14.3% have had at least one dose. The compulsory measures for some worker categories, and to enter cafes, etc., that have been imposed in Moscow and St Petersburg will likely be rolled out across the country, Weafer said. Long queues are reported for vaccination in Moscow while vaccination has stopped in some regions because of a lack of doses.
The lockdown has driven new cases to low levels, although there has been an uptick in the last couple of days, Weafer wrote. The delta strain has been identified in Ukraine and measures are being taken, including extra testing of those arriving from India, the UK, Russia, and Portugal. All of Ukraine is in the green zone, but the Kyiv region may be downgraded. The quarantine system has been extended to the end of August.
The rise in new infections has pushed the country into the red zone overall, with five regions including the capital in the red zone. In Nur-Sultan, there are new restrictions on the opening hours of malls and restaurants, and limits on the number of visitors allowed. Vaccination is progressing well, with about 9.8% of the population having received two doses (up from 7.3% the previous week), and 16% have received at least one dose, Weafer wrote. New rules require service sector workers and those in firms larger than 20 people to either get vaccinated or have a weekly PCR test.
According to Weafer, there is a urge in new cases in Uzbekistan. The delta strain of Covid-19 has been discovered in Uzbekistan. Movement in and out of Tashkent is restricted. PCR tests are required for entry into the country. Restrictions imposed on indoor worship and on restaurants. Vaccination was opened to over 18s in Tashkent and to over 50s nationwide. About 1 million (3%) have had two doses up from 960,000 the previous week.
The peak of the third wave has passed, which is a good result, given that there was an election last week, Weafer wrote, adding that the authorities are warning of the possibility of a new wave of infections. The quarantine is in place until July 11.
The third wave has clearly peaked thanks to a tough lockdown; the government has relaxed quarantine rules, Weafer, wrote, adding that 11.6% of the population has received two vaccine doses, up from 9.6% the previous week. The government may tighten its rules on infection certification in order to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
New cases in Belarus continue to fall. The delta variant has been found in Belarus but seems not to be spreading as fast as in Russia. Vaccination numbers are now announced daily, suggesting the availability problems have been resolved. New vaccination points are announced daily. About 5.8% of the population has had both doses, up from 4% last week. 8.9% have received at least one dose.
The third wave has peaked, Weafer wrote, adding that the curfew now starts at midnight (changed from 2300). The government’s mandate to impose regulations was extended from July 1st 2021 to January 1st 2022. Vaccination is still limited by supplies. The country has AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and SinoVac. All deliveries of vaccines get taken almost immediately. The government hopes to get major deliveries in July, and enough to vaccinate all the population by September.