Vladimir Putin’s Russian Government is able to contain coronavirus better than the rest of the world… or is it?
Highlights! The Invisible Coronavirus Outbreak In Putin’s Russia
- Russian Approach to Covid-19
- The Red In Soviet Ledgers
- The Spotty Coronavirus Test
- Spreading Coronavirus or Pneumonia
- Impending Fate Of Democracy
The fewer number of coronavirus cases in Russia is alarming the citizens instead of relieving them.
Vladimir Putin, Russian President in a government meeting said the coronavirus situation in Russia is ‘under control,’ while noting the ‘high level of risk’ that lingers.
The Russian government claims it has managed to contain the coronavirus by its early and aggressive measures taken to prevent community spread.
The Russian Approach to Covid-19
Russia shares borders with China, the epicentre of pandemic and recorded its first case back in January. However, the country of 146 million people has relatively few numbers of infected cases with just 253 people coronavirus positive as of March 21.
Find more statistics at Statista
The Russian officials attributed the plaudits to Putin’s hands-on approach towards preventive measures in controlling the outbreak. Russia shut down its 2,600-mile border with China in January end while setting up the quarantine zones. Experts feel this may have delayed the full-blown outbreak in the country.
WHO local representatives’ in Russia say it is still doing ‘relatively well.’ The country is tracking cases for family transmission and epidemiological links to travel.
The Red In Soviet Ledgers
Russian citizens have their own reasons to doubt their government’s transparency. The country has a poor track record of ‘hiding numbers’ during a public health crisis. For instance, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe and the HIV epidemic in the 1980s.
On social media websites, Russians’ have raised scepticism about their government hiding the actual number of cases. The citizens have their reasons to doubt the working of the Soviet government — and its ‘efforts’ to not spread ‘panic!’
The Spotty Test
News reports from Russia state the shortage of protective equipment. According to the Moscow Times, only one lab located near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk has been able to carry out Covid-19 tests. The lab has the lowest ratio of test to positive cases in the world—114 positive out of 116,000 tests.
The only stipulated lab near Siberia’s Novosibirsk has the lowest ratio of test to positive cases in the world—114 positive out of 116,000 tests.
Recently, the first coronavirus patient from Russia shared his experience with his followers on social media. Covid-19 confirmed patient, David Berov posted on Instagram about his multiple tests citing the confirmation of tests used by the Russian government varies. On March 5, he wrote, they could barely see the virus so they were in doubt. He added, “The virus was confirmed in my third test, it was not seen in my blood but was in my saliva.”
Spreading Coronavirus or Pneumonia
According to official statistics, the number of cases of pneumonia has seen a spike in Russia. In January, the number of pneumonia cases spiked by 37 per cent compared to the previous year. Mark Galeotti, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London tells QZ, “…the strange spike in pneumonia cases is really just Covid-19 by another name.”
“the strange spike in pneumonia cases is really just Covid-19 by another name.”Mark Galeotti, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London
Taking note of the pneumonia cases WHO’s Dr Vujnovic debunked the concerns. She told CNN noticing the trend of increased cases in other countries, “I do not believe this is happening, which doesn’t say that you might not see an increase of cases in the next period.”
Putin himself addressed the concerns during a televised briefing. He acknowledges that the authorities might not have the full information given the long latent period of the virus and general people not reporting or even knowing they are sick. Putin adding, “But everything that is issued … by the Ministry of Health is all objective information.”
Impending Fate Of Democracy
During the past week, numbers have surged in Russia. The count is seeing an upward trajectory adding 30-50 people every day. Approximately 36,540 are monitored for a possible infection. The government has now closed the borders and cancelled public events.
However, a novel coronavirus’ outbreak in Russia might hinder Putin’s proposed plan to stay in office till 2036.
Russia is set to vote in late April 2020!