September 24, 2023

Masking Required Here


Masking Required Here
Russian White House. Szilas, Wikimedia Commons.

Despite Russia's growing political isolation, the COVID-19 variant EG.5, informally known as "Eris," has arrived. The House of The Government of the Russian Federation, the workplace of the Russian Prime Minister, announced that, starting September 18, masking on their premises is mandatory to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and the flu, among other diseases.

According to RBK, employees at the "Bely Dom" (White House) were asked to wear masks in the office and avoid business trips both inside Russia and abroad. The institution also reduced its number of visitors.

Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the government is monitoring the spread of the disease in Russia. However, no measures have been announced for the general population.

The government's current attitude towards the virus drastically differs from its response during the height of the pandemic, which peaked in 2020 and 2021. At that time, officials downplayed the severity of the virus. Media and the government fomented skepticism around vaccines even though Russia was the first country to roll them out. Four hundred thousand lives in Russia were lost to the virus, according to official estimates, the fourth-highest death count of any nation. 

On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization declared the end of the coronavirus pandemic. In Russia, however, in the week of September 10, some 7,688 people tested positive for COVID-19.

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