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Tags: Virus | Outbreak | Russia

Russia to Shorten COVID-19 Isolation Period to 7 Days

Tuesday, 18 January 2022 09:00 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities said Tuesday that the government is shortening the required isolation period for people infected with the coronavirus from 14 to seven days.

The move comes as Russia faces another surge of COVID-19 cases, this time driven by the rapid spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who runs the country's coronavirus task force, said health officials were “optimizing our approaches to quarantine and testing of our citizens, including shortening the quarantine period to seven days.”

Golikova added that other policy changes will be adopted in the coming days, without going into details about what these changes might be. She also didn't explain the rationale for cutting the isolation period.

The existing rules outline a two-week isolation period for those who test positive for the virus, with a mandatory follow-up test on day 11.

The daily number of coronavirus infections confirmed in Russia doubled over the past week, going from over 15,000 on Jan. 10 to 31,252 on Tuesday. Officials have sounded the alarm about the surge having the potential to be the country's biggest yet but so far haven't announced any restrictions to stem it.

Anna Popova, the head of Russian public health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said last week that new daily cases might reach six figures. President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has “a couple of weeks” to prepare for the unprecedented wave.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that authorities were not discussing another nationwide lockdown.

Russia had only one national lockdown, in 2020, although many Russians were ordered to stay off work for a week in October 2021 amid a jump in reported cases and deaths. Authorities have generally resisted shutting down businesses or imposing other tough restrictions.

On Friday, the government decided to indefinitely postpone introducing restrictions for unvaccinated people that had been under consideration since November.

The measures would have allowed only people who were fully vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19 or medically exempt from immunization access to many public places. The idea proved extremely unpopular among vaccine-hesitant Russians.

Just about half of Russia’s population of 146 million has been fully vaccinated so far, even though Russia boasted about being the first country in the world to approve and roll out a domestically developed coronavirus vaccine.

Russia’s state coronavirus task force has registered over 10.8 million confirmed infections and 322,678 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Russia’s state statistics agency, which uses broader counting criteria, puts the death toll much higher, saying the overall number of virus-linked deaths between April 2020 and October 2021 was over 625,000.

Follow AP's pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


GlobalTalk
Russian authorities said Tuesday that the government is shortening the required isolation period for people infected with the coronavirus from 14 to seven days. The move comes as Russia faces another surge of COVID-19 cases, this time driven by the rapid spread of the...
Virus,Outbreak,Russia
438
2022-00-18
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 09:00 AM
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