US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — In virtually no other country, coronavirus is now spreading as fast as in Russia. Only on Sunday, the Russian authorities recorded 11 thousand infected. Thus, Russia crossed the line of 200 thousand cases identified.
According to the American Johns Hopkins University, in the total number of cases detected, the country is now in fifth place after the United States, Spain, Italy and the UK. If this trend continues, already at the beginning of the week Russia may overtake the three focal countries of the coronavirus and be in second place.
Against this background, the surprisingly low death rates coming from the Putin empire look like a miracle. Officially, 1915 Russians died of coronavirus. For comparison: in Italy and the UK with about the same number of infected people at the moment, over 30 thousand deaths. How does Russia manage to keep mortality at less than one percent, while in other heavily affected countries it is much higher?
An explanation of the Russian government: we are coping well with the crisis. “The mortality rate indicates that the system is working, and medical personnel, doctors, nurses and paramedics are clearly doing their duty,” said Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, as reported by Bloomberg.
In addition, representatives of the Russian authorities explain the large discrepancy in numbers by the scale of testing. Thus, it is possible to identify and quickly isolate patients with a mild course of the disease, as well as people without symptoms, which significantly inhibits the spread of the virus in public places, as well as in certain risk groups, said Rospotrebnadzor.
Critics point to a special method of counting Russians. If in other countries everyone included in the statistics who was infected with coronavirus at the time of death, even in the presence of concomitant serious diseases, in Russia, it seems, the opposite is true. “If someone dies of a heart attack, but he was also diagnosed with covid-19, the official cause of death is a heart attack,” says Sergei Timonin, deputy head of the HSE international laboratory for population and health research. “In other words, not all deaths among people with coronavirus are recorded as death from coronavirus.”
Local media also reported cases where pneumonia was indicated as the cause of death, despite a positive coronavirus test. So, in the column “cause of death” of a 36-year-old journalist who died on March 31 in Perm in the Urals, “bilateral pneumonia” is indicated. She was changed to “coronavirus” only after the friend of the deceased publicly announced her positive test.
There are also doubts about the reliability of some tests for coronavirus, which are carried out by private laboratories and clinics. Since the end of April, Internet giant Yandex has been offering free tests at home. In addition, the Russian healthcare system is far from as stable as the authorities say. Doctors complain that there is not enough protective equipment in hospitals. They say that doctors are forced to continue to work, even if they themselves test for coronavirus was positive.
Dangerous life of critics
But it seems that it is dangerous to be a critic of “covert management” in Russia. In recent weeks, two doctors have already died after criticisms: under unclear circumstances, they fell out of the windows of hospitals. The third doctor, who also criticized the incident, received serious injuries after falling from a window. He is in critical condition with a head injury.
The head of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, apparently wants to make it clear to the population at all costs that the situation is under his full control. Despite the rapidly growing number of cases, on Tuesday quarantine imposed by him for a month ends on Tuesday (as in the text – approx. Ed.) . Numerous industrial enterprises and construction sites can work again, however, shops still remain closed.
“Russia has done everything possible to delay the peak of the epidemic,” said Yevgeny Timakov, an infectious disease specialist and government adviser. “We closed the borders and immediately started monitoring the infected.” Thus, they won several weeks to isolate patients and arrange beds in hospitals. The final mortality rate will be approximately one third of the European, he predicts.
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