Russians forgo masks, vaccines, social distancing even as top physician warns hospital beds are nearly full.

Russia topped the symbolic figure of 1,000 daily deaths from Covid-19 on Saturday for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and hit a new record in infection numbers on Monday with 34,325 cases reported, according to the Guardian.

Officials say the country is quickly running out of hospital beds and Russia’s chief doctor, Denis Protsenko, described the situation on Friday as “near critical”, with vaccinations at a standstill.

Several regions reintroduced QR codes for access to public places last week as well as mandatory vaccination for certain groups, but Moscow and St Petersburg – home to by far the biggest clusters of infections – have so far opted against new measures. The two cities are among the most open places in Europe.

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