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Russia - COVID-19

Russian officials sharply revised upwards their estimates of deaths from Covid-19, with more than 186,000 people thought to have died from the virus in the worlds largest country, since the start of the pandemic. While the numbers were stark, , with the worlds third-largest known death toll behind the US and Brazil, the overall figure was comparable to other European countries, when viewed per capita. This is despite Moscow refusing to implement strict autumn and winter lockdowns. The state statistical agency, Rosstat, said on 28 December 2020 that almost 230,000 extra deaths have been recorded up to the end of November, compared with the total from 2019. Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova added that more than 81% of this increase in mortality over this period is due to Covid and the consequences of the disease. This would place estimates for the number of coronavirus deaths at around 186,000, rather than initial estimates of just over 55,000.

Russias approach to the pandemic was markedly different to many other European nations. Despite initially putting in place one of the toughest lockdown regimes in the world, Moscows policymakers had been reluctant to return to sweeping national measures, as seen elsewhere. In October 2020, President Vladimir Putin told reporters that authorities do not plan to introduce restrictive measures across the board, such as nationwide lockdowns, when that would totally halt the economy and the operation of businesses. Instead, the country has focused on scaling up testing and rolling out more hospital capacity to deal with rising numbers of cases.

Russia had done worse than the US, as well as most or quite possibly all EU countries. That was probably not that surprising. Russias population, while not exceptionally old by European standards, is certainly less healthy at any given age, with a pre-Corona life expectancy of 73 years, living spaces are crowded and automobile ownership is low by Western standards, winters are long, and healthcare quality is Second World. On 26 March 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin shared his views on what Russia needs to do to contain the virus. "My colleague expects we will defeat the coronavirus in two or three months. This is a fine forecast, since in many countries people say the war will be going on for a very long period of time ... We will certainly get over this situation, and I hope even earlier than you have said [two or three months].

The World Health Organisations (WHO) representative in Russia, Melita Vujnovic, said that there was no need for a hard quarantine in Russia, adding that Moscow was "one step ahead" in its fight against COVID-19. Vujnovic agreed with the assessments of the Russian Health Ministry that the spread of the coronavirus in the country will decline in May. "Yes, I agree, but all depends on how people behave," Vujnovic said.

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The health ministry's chief epidemiologist Nikolay Briko opined in an interview with Russian media that the spread of COVID-19 in Russia would start diminishing sometime between the end of April and the beginning of May in line with general epidemiological patterns typical of acute severe respiratory infections, including influenza.

On 28 March 2020 Russias operational headquarters for preventing the spread of COVID-19 reported that the number of patients infected with the coronavirus in Russia has increased by 228 people over the past 24 hours, and that one more person had died. The Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) said in a statement that it has presented a drug to treat the coronavirus, which has affected almost every corner of the globe. Russia's FMBA is working "on an effective and safe scheme to prevent the coronavirus infection on the basis of mefloquine, which will not only overcome the peak of incidence but also effectively control it in the future", their press service said.

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At the end of March 2020, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke about the start of work on the construction of sixteen hospitals with a capacity of one hundred beds. The government has allocated over eight billion rubles for their creation, and it is planned to complete their construction by mid-May. The main objective of these new infection centers is to increase the ability of the healthcare system to treat patients in several regions of the country in the event of a sharp increase in the number of patients with COVID-19.

The State Corporation Roscosmos monitored the construction of hospitals for patients with coronavirus infection COVID-19 throughout the country. In earlly Apr9l 2020 satellite images showed progress in the minds of pre-fabricated hospitals in Ussuriysk , Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod. The frames were taken by the Resurs-P spacecraft on April 2, 3, and 5. This satellite orbits at an altitude of 475 kilometers above the Earth in a circular sun-synchronous orbit. Using a multispectral camera, it takes pictures of the planet's surface for mapping in high resolution, the needs of the Ministry of Emergencies, agriculture and environmental organizations. According topost Roscosmos, for the processing of information from it is responsible for the operator of space remote sensing Earth - the Scientific Center for Operational Monitoring of the Earth JSC "Russian Space Systems".

To stop people from transmitting the disease, President Vladimir Putin announced a paid week off from 28 March to 5 April, later prolonging it to the end of the month. He urged people to stay at home, also ordering heads of regions to introduce quarantine restrictions. , Moscow's COVID-19 response centre said that people younger than 45 account for nearly 50 percent of the new coronavirus patients registered in the Russian capital, with the infection confirmed in 17 more children.

Chief Public Health Official Anna Popova said that a significant number of Russian citizens are not violating self-isolation regime amid the coronavirus disease pandemic. "At present, we are testing 34,000 to 37,000 people per day. This is a significant number, and we will increase the amount," Popova told reporters.

By 06 April 2020, Russia had carried out almost 700,000 tests for COVID-19, which is third in the world after the United States and Germany. The country had managed to prevent explosive growth of the coronavirus so far, but there were at least 6,343 infected in Russia, and the death toll had reached 47. The authorities were following an existing algorithm in tackling the spread of the infection from confirmed cases by tracking the infected individual's family, close contacts, and remote contacts such as coworkers.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin imposed tough restrictions on movement, prohibiting residents from leaving their homes except in cases of emergency, to seek medical help, or to do essential shopping. This is the situation on the streets of the Russian capital amid strict self-isolation measures as the city battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Alexander Semyenov, deputy director of the Pasteur Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in St. Petersburg, did not believe that Russia faced the risk of an Italy-style COVID-19 scenario, noting that the country is stocked up on an adequate supply of ventilators, and still has a strong health care system, and the resources do deal with a viral outbreak like the new coronavirus. The first epidemic weve had has shown us what a health care system is really about. Thank God that our [financial] optimizers did not manage to finish reforming the Russian health care system to the American standard. I hope that they will come to their senses nowWe have sufficient resources to avoid repeating the Italian scenario in how the situation develops. At the very least, a serious, adequate and extensive system by Rospotrebnadzor [Russias consumer protection watchdog] is in place. In Italy its been gone for a long time. They optimized it, the doctor concluded.

Russia sent over 100 medical experts and 15 planeloads of equipment to Italy in March 2020 to help it in its battle against the new coronavirus, with the Mediterranean nation remaining in the top tier in total infections and fatalities. The exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases in Italy and the resultant overwhelming of the countrys medical system came about because the country did not take timely measures to halt its spread, Alexander Semyenov, one of the Russian doctors deployed to help the country in its coronavirus response, has said.

In addition to their work in the citys main coronavirus hospital, Russian specialists took part in the creation of a special separate facility, to be located on the Bergamo expo center, with Russian and Italian doctors expected to work side by side in resuscitation and intensive care, therapeutic units, diagnostic laboratories and recovery wards when that project was up and running.

Putin said 20 April 2020 Russia had managed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus but warned the peak of the outbreak still lay ahead after the number of confirmed infections surged past 47,000 nationwide. Russia reported 4,268 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, down from more than 6,000 the day before. Forty-four people died overnight, bringing the death toll to 405, Russia's coronavirus task force said. But despite the clampdown, infections have spread from Russia's worst-hit area in Moscow and penetrated all of its more than 80 regions, Putin said at a televised meeting with officials and health experts.

Putin was trying to avoid falling behind Western states. By May 2020 European countries had already begun to end the lockdowns. What authorities call "the regime of increased readiness" was extended in the capital until the end of May. That meant that the longest exit restrictions in all of Russia apply in the capital. People in Moscow was the first city to be slapped with stay-at-home orders and are probably the last to be allowed out again because the city has consistently held the country's negative record for new infections. Every day, people are shocked by the COVID-19 reports from the hospitals passed on by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin's coronavirus staff. Many citizens were surprised about the eased regulations on 11 May 2020 because Russia, with more than 10,000 new cases per day, ranked first in the worldwide statistics of new infections and second in the absolute number of infected people.

Putin understood that he will lose in the eyes of Russian public if Russia does not catch up. The restrictions were harder on Russians than Europeans because the standard of living in Russia is lower and most Russians have no savings. As before, only grocery stores and pharmacies are open.

Russian medics are compiling a list of colleagues they've lost to the pandemic. The list had over 250 names by late May 2020. According to an investigation by independent outlet Mediazona, that made Russian doctors 16 times more likely to die from coronavirus than their counterparts in other hard-hit countries. According to the survey on Doctor's Manual, the results of which were first reported by Russian outlet Meduza, 39 percent of doctors said personal-protective equipment (PPE) was supplied irregularly or in inadequate quantities to their facility, and 48.5 percent said they had to reuse PPE.

Russia has reported the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the United States and Brazil. The tally on 29 May 2020 rose to 387,623 after officials reported 8,572 new infections. The Russian anti-coronavirus crisis center reported 232 new coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours in the country, which is 30% higher than previous record-highs set earlier in the week. Under scrutiny for weeks over a coronavirus death toll so low that Russian officials hailed it as a miracle,at the end of May 2020 Moscow health authorities said they had improved their count for April and found that more than twice as many people died as initially reported. Under the revised count, the city's death rate from the virus was between 1.4% and 2.8%. That would still make the Russian capital's coronavirus death rate much lower than death rates reported in cities such as New York and London.

President Vladimir Putin said on 11 August 2020 that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess. The vaccine still had to complete final trials, raising concerns among some experts at the speed of its approval, but the Russian business conglomerate Sistema has said it expects to put it into mass production by the end of the year. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that any stamp of approval on a Covid-19 vaccine candidate would require a rigorous safety data review.




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Page last modified: 08-01-2021 14:00:19 ZULU