Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that despite the “difficult” coronavirus situation in Russia, “life goes on.”
Russia has set records for daily case numbers multiple times this month amid the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant, The Associated Press reported. On Tuesday, the country reported a new high of 124,693 daily infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Even as cases continue to surge, however, the national government has declined to impose nationwide restrictions, leaving the decision to do so up to local authorities, per the AP.
“Already today we are not talking about the lockdown, we are not talking about the quarantine, we are not talking about some kind of emergency countermeasures,” Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s public health agency, told state media, according to the wire service.
Since the pandemic began, Russia has only imposed one nationwide lockdown, which lasted for six weeks in 2020, according to the AP. More recently, the country also issued a stay-at-home order in the fall of 2021.
The Kremlin last month delayed COVID-19 legislation that would restrict unvaccinated individuals’ access to public places. Only about half of Russians have been fully vaccinated against the virus.
On Wednesday, Putin called for “solidarity” and “mutual assistance” to help fight the new wave of infections, per the AP.