Staunton, November 3 – The increasingly dire situation in Russian regions beyond the ring road is now flooding into the Moscow media, with stories about hospitals too full to provide service, the absence of medicines both in hospitals and apothecary shops, higher mortality among ordinary Russians and officials, and more problems with the statistics officials are reporting.
(Examples include rusmonitor.com/deficzit-antibiotikov-v-novosibirske-govorit-o-rashozhdenii-s-otchetami-po-koronavirusu.html, newizv.ru/news/society/03-11-2020/sergey-mironov-predlozhil-ob-yavit-vseobschuyu-mobilizatsiyu-vrachey themoscowtimes.com/2020/11/03/harrowing-coronavirus-stories-emerge-from-russias-battered-regions-a71939er.ru/activity/news/v-treti-aptek-po-rezultatam-monitoringa-edinoj-rossii-otsutstvuyut-preparaty-ot-koronavirusa, eastrussia.ru/news/regiony-dfo-poluchat-bolee-300-mln-rubley-na-lekarstva-ot-covid-19/, sibreal.org/a/30927721.html, regnum.ru/news/3106266.html, regnum.ru/news/3106199.html, agoniya.eu/archives/9454, regnum.ru/news/3106125.html, ura.news/news/1052457020, sobkorr.org/news/5FA137B5916A5.html, echo.msk.ru/news/2735800-echo.html, interfax.ru/russia/735424 and sibreal.org/a/30927721.html.)
Up to now, Moscow has focused more on the situation in the capital; but now the situation there seems relatively stable albeit at still high rates of infection and death, while that in many regions, which have fewer resources, including doctors, hospital beds and medications, has become much worse over the last ten days.
The all-Russian infection and death numbers for today were also bad, with 18,648 new infections bringing the cumulative total of that measure to 1,673,686, and 355 new deaths, raising that toll to 28,828 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1901). And yet another example of conflicting numbers being reported occurred in Sverdlovsk Oblast (vkarpinsk.info/novosti/administratsiya-perestala-publikovat-aktualnoe-kolichestvo-zarazhennykh-covid-19-v-karpinske/).
Both in the capitals and in the regions, the pandemic continued to flare (regnum.ru/news/society/3101964.html). St. Petersburg officials said they may have to move more children to distance learning at parental request (regnum.ru/news/3106465.html). Suburban Moscow buses refused to carry 1100 passengers with elevated temperatures (regnum.ru/news/3106387.html).
According to one report, 92 percent of Russians at least in the cities are now wearing masks on a regular basis (regnum.ru/news/3105868.html). And Moscow officials said that they were boosting social spending to compensate for some of the losses and problems the city has experienced during the pandemic (icmos.ru/news/sotsialnaya-napravlennost-byudzheta-stolitsy-v-2021-godu-budet-usilena).
On the economic front, consumer spending by Russians has dropped to the level of 2007 (nakanune.ru/news/2020/11/3/22587372/
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· Zookeepers in Chelyabinsk put the primate house off limits to visitors lest the monkeys and apes there be infected (regnum.ru/news/3105684.html).
· United Russia Party officials have directed their regional branches to time the beginning of their election campaigns for the Duma on the basis of coronavirus conditions (ura.news/articles/1036281384).
· Some critics are suggesting that Moscow will never end the pandemic officially because it is so easy to use the coronavirus as a cover for extending new controls on the population (forum-msk.org/material/news/16790946.html).
· For the first three weeks of October, Russians spent 40 percent on hotels than they did during the World Cup in 2018 (https://www.vedomosti.ru/business/news/2020/11/03/845579-spros-rossiyan-na-oteli-previsil-pokazateli-chm-2018).
· And despite everything, Russians are currently spending less on anti-depressants than they were a year ago (dailystorm.ru/obschestvo/nesmotrya-na-koronavirus-v-2020-m-rossiyane-menshe-pokupali-antidepressanty-chem-godom-ranee).