Kremlin blames nihilism and low vaccine uptake for COVID-19 surge

Hospital for patients infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Moscow
A medical specialist walks by an ambulance outside a hospital for patients infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Moscow, Russia June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

MOSCOW, June 18 (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Friday blamed a fresh surge in COVID-19 infections on nihilism among the population, reluctance to have vaccinations rate and mutations of the coronavirus, as the caopital city reported a record number of daily infections. read more

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a campaign to promote vaccination had clearly not been as effective as desired, and that Putin was monitoring the situation.

"Total nihilism, the low vaccination level (were behind the surge)," Peskov told a briefing. "We also shouldn't forget the cunning of the infection itself."

Peskov defended the idea of limiting access to certain areas according to a person's COVID-19 and vaccination record to create "coronavirus-free zones".

"The worst segregation of Russians is that between those on ventilators in intensive care and those who are not," he said. "That's the segregation we must do everything possible to avoid."

Reporting by Dmitry Antonov and Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Andrew Osborn

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