Monday, March 30, 2020

Pandemic Spreading More Rapidly in Russia than in Most Other Countries, Illarionov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 27 – Using official Russian government figures alone which almost certainly understate the problem, the coronavirus pandemic is spreading more rapidly in Russia than in most other countries with the number of infections likely to exceed 200,000 by mid-April with 30,000 of these seriously at risk, Andrey Illarionov says.

            The economist says that in all countries, the pandemic has or will pass through six stages: initial infection of one individual, an initial plateau, an explosion, a levelling of the curve of growth, slow growth, and the end of the epidemic; and he classifies countries into three groups depending on the reaction of governments and thus the course of the disease.

            None has ended the epidemic yet, Illarionov says. But some have done better than others because their governments have acted in a tougher manner. The Asian-German “variant” which includes China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Iran and Germany has reduced the increase to less than 10 percent a day (

            The Romano-Canadian variant (Italy, France, Australia, Spain and Canada) have reduced the increase after the 28th day of first infection by 10 to 18 percent. And the Anglo-Saxon variant (UK, Australia, and the US) after the 28th day is still seeing increases of 20 to 31 percent a day, the economist continues.

            As for the Russian Federation, he says, its explosive period began on March 5. During the first 18 days after that, the number of cases increased according to official figures by 28 percent a day, and between the 18th and 23rd day, the numbers rose to 33.4 percent. This is greater than even the Anglo-Saxon numbers.

Over the next two to three weeks, the increases in Russia will be “no less than 30 percent a day.” That means there will be likely be more than 200,000 infected by mid-April. Of these, 30,000 will require hospitalization and treatment facilities that exceed the number which exist in Russia at the present time.
Vladimir Putin’s refusal to impose a quarantine immediately thus means that many of these will die, that is “tens of thousands of people,” Illarionov says. And since the figures which serve as the basis for this calculation are likely significantly understated so too is that one.

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