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Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia - statistics & facts

The coronavirus (COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2), reached Russia in end-January 2020, while its mass outbreak began in March. Originally, Moscow was the epicenter of the pandemic, though the share of other regions in total cases increased gradually. Russia held a lockdown in the spring of 2020. When COVID-19 cases and deaths significantly increased in the fall of 2021, additional measures were imposed, such as QR codes proving the vaccination or recovered status and mandatory vaccination for employees in various sectors and the elderly population in some regions. The restrictions were largely eased in March 2022. Russia was among the 10 countries with the highest number of cases worldwide. As of April 2022, Omicron was the dominant variant of COVID-19 in the country.

How did COVID-19 affect the Russian economy?

According to the IMF, Russia’s gross domestic product lost around 3 percent in 2020 and rose by an estimated 4.7 percent in 2021. The lockdown in the second quarter of the year led to a decrease in the population’s real disposable income and closures of small businesses across the country. While most companies introduced remote work opportunities, staff reductions also took place, resulting in rising unemployment. Starting from the summer of 2020, shops, restaurants, cinemas, and domestic travel services gradually reopened. However, Russia still had border restrictions, which had a negative impact on the air transportation industry, whose revenue declined by nearly 40 percent in the first half of 2020. At the same time, the pandemic accelerated growth in digital markets, such as online food delivery.

Which COVID-19 vaccines does Russia use?

The mass vaccination against COVID-19 in Russia started in January 2021. In the global race for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the country was first to register Sputnik V developed by Gamaleya Research Institute. More than 70 countries authorized the use of Sputnik V, and some signed delivery agreements with Russia, such as India, Brazil, and Mexico. In April 2022, the the Russian health ministry registered the nasal version of Sputnik V, which was expected to be available to the population within the following three or four months. Furthermore, Russia used four other COVID-19 vaccines, including a one-dose Sputnik Light and a vaccine for adolescents Sputnik M by Gamaleya Research Institute, EpiVacCorona by the Vector Research Center, and CoviVac by the Chumakov Center.

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

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