Russia is offering incentives like free cars for people who choose to get Covid-19 vaccine shots. In Moscow, cars worth more than ₹10 lakh are part of the giveaway to improve slow rate of vaccination in the country.
Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, made the announcement on Sunday, hoping it would improve the rate of vaccination while people get to drive home a brand new car for free.
The Mayor said that anyone over 18 years of age who gets the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine from today 14 would now be automatically entered into a draw to win a car. This unique scheme to attract people to get their jabs will go on until July 11.
In the next four weeks, at least five cars will be up for grabs every week. In all, around 20 vehicles are likely to be given away as part of the Moscow mayor's initiative to draw people to vaccination centres.
Moscow is one of the worst-affected cities in Russia as far as Covid-19 cases are concerned. The Russian capital recorded 7,704 new infections on Sunday, the most in a single day since December 24. Overall, Russia has reported 14,723 cases, the largest one-day total since February 13.
Earlier, the Moscow mayor had expressed his disappointment over few residents choosing to get vaccinated. Till May 21, only 1.3 million out of a population of more than 12 million had received one dose. Russia began rolling out its Sputnik V shot in December and it was rapidly opened up to everyone in Moscow.
The mayor said Moscow was trying to get thousands of makeshift hospital beds for Covid-19 patients. Residents are also asked to stay off work for this week to help curb the spread of the virus.
"This is only a temporary solution. To avoid new restrictions and secure a sustainable improvement of the situation, we need to significantly speed up vaccinations," the mayor said in a blog on Sunday.