The coronavirus situation in Russia remains tense because many regions do not follow the recommendations of the chief sanitary officer, the country’s prime minister said on Friday.

Speaking at a government meeting in the capital Moscow, Mikhail Mishustin urged regional health authorities to take a more active position in countering the virus’s spread and stick to the recommendations of the federal authorities.

“Not all regions follow the recommendations of the chief sanitary officer (on preventing the spread of the coronavirus), and yet they are aimed at preserving people’s lives and health. It is necessary to adhere to them, and, accordingly, (regional) sanitary officers should take a more active position,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry should work closely with regions on the issues of vaccination so that it would be easy to get immunized against COVID-19 everywhere in Russia, Mishustin noted.

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 should be simple so that people do not have to wait in queues and sign up for a month,” he also said.

In general, the pace of vaccination in Russia has sped up twice in recent weeks, however, the level of vaccination depends on the region, some have a high level of demand for vaccination, others do not, Mishustin added.

According to Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, 35 million people in Russia have so far got the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

For her part, Anna Popova, Russia’s chief sanitary officer, announced that mandatory vaccination for separate categories will be introduced in four more regions.

She added that on Friday, 57 of 85 Russian regions recorded further growth in COVID-19 cases, while 18 regions saw stabilization and 10 of them registered drops.

Russia’s coronavirus emergency task force reported on Friday 23,811 new cases, 795 more deaths, and 22,547 additional recoveries, and at least 476,222 patients are under treatment across the country.

​​​​​​​Since December 2019, the pandemic has claimed over 4.13 million lives in 192 countries and regions, with more than 192.72 million cases reported, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.​​​​​​​

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