Prospekt Lenin, downtown Murmansk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Nearly 100 new cases in Murmansk

"Wear masks and keep distance," is the main message from the governor's office as Russia’s Arctic capital again sees a rise in the number of infections.
June 20, 2021

Murmansk health authorities on Sunday confirmed 97 new coronavirus cases and three deaths. Daily new COVID-19 infections are nearly doubled over the last two weeks in the region, with the city of Murmansk worst out. 

This weekend, people are encouraged to come to three vaccinations stations at centrally located shopping malls. A challenge, though, is not any lack of vaccine, but rather lack of willingness to take the vaccine among the population. 

By Saturday, the accumulated number of coronavirus cases in the Murmansk region passed 50,000. Additionally comes the 2,500 cases at Novatek’s construction site in Belokamenka where the vast majority of the workers are fly-in, fly-out commuters from other parts of Russia and former Soviet republics.

Since the start of the pandemic, the official number of COVID-19 related deaths in the region is now 1,263.

By early June, only one-eighth of Russians had received at least one dose of the vaccine. That places the country far lower than other European countries. Authorities have approved four domestically made vaccines, of which Sputnik V is the most widely available. In the Murmansk region, some 107,000 of the about 750,000 inhabitants are now vaccinated, news online Severpost reported. 

On Monday, Governor Andrey Chibis introduced a set of restrictive measures aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions include a ban on mass cultural events, a maximum of 30 people can participate in organized meetings, sports events can’t have spectators, food courts can only provide take-away, and businesses can’t send employees on travel.

Nationwide, Russia’s national coronavirus information center on Sunday reported 17,611 new infections. In total, 5,316,826 cases and 129,361 deaths are now the official figures. Russia’s total excess fatality count since the start of the coronavirus pandemic is around 475,000, The Moscow Times reported. 

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