Russian region runs out of hospital beds as COVID-19 deaths hit record – Reuters

Medical specialists transport a patient outside a hospital for people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Moscow, Russia October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

MOSCOW, Oct 19 (Reuters) – A Russian region near Moscow has run out of hospital beds for coronavirus patients, its governor said on Tuesday, as the country’s daily COVID-19 death toll hit a record and the Kremlin told citizens to take responsibility and get vaccinated.

Russia’s COVID-19 task force reported 1,015 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since the start of the pandemic, as well as 33,740 new infections, just shy of a record daily rise, with authorities blaming the surge on a slow vaccination campaign.

“There is a tradition of blaming the state for everything. Of course, the state feels and knows its share of responsibility,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday, admitting that more could have been done to explain the importance of vaccination to the public.

“But a more responsible position is needed from all citizens of our country,” he said. “Now each of us must show responsibility…and get vaccinated.”

Andrei Klychkov, governor of the Orlovsky region, around 325 km (200 miles) south of Moscow, said no more hospital beds were available, the RIA news agency reported, but that efforts were being made to resolve the situation.

Russia’s health ministry last week asked retired vaccinated medics to return to hospitals to help tackle the latest wave of the virus.

Lawmaker Andrei Makarov on Tuesday said 1,100 medical professionals had died due to complications from COVID-19 so far this year, up from 485 in 2020, TASS reported.

In Crimea, the peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, health officials said people working in sectors such as tourism, hospitality, education and healthcare would have to get vaccinated.

Employers have been instructed to ensure that at least 80% of their employees are inoculated with the first dose of a vaccine by Nov. 15, TASS cited the regional branch of health regulator Rospotrebnadzor as saying.

Reporting by Dmitry Antonov and Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alex Richardson

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