Staunton, April 25 – Moscow is officially reporting far fewer infections and deaths from the coronavirus in Russia than other countries, a pattern that reflects the lack of testing, a willingness to mislabel cases, and the official encouragement (svoboda.org/a/30574844.html and meduza.io/feature/2020/04/25/v-moskve-chislo-zabolevshih-pnevmoniey-v-fevrale-vyroslo-v-poltora-raza-togda-v-rossii-esche-ne-registrirovali-sluchai-covid-19).
If the actual situation were being accurately reported, doctors, observers and ordinary people say, Russia would have far more infections and deaths; and the government would be under greater pressure to take action. But underreporting has become the norm with the Russian government is taking pride in the numbers even though they are far smaller than the real ones.
Meanwhile, there were seven other pandemic stories from Russia today worthy of note:
1. The authorities are bringing increasingly serious charges against those who took part in the anti-isolation demonstration in Vladikavkaz, even as infections there have seen a dramatic rise (mbk-news.appspot.com/region/svoi-ne-pojdut-protiv/ and vestikavkaza.ru/news/posle-mitinga-v-severnoy-osetii-vyroslo-chislo-zarazhennykh-koronavirusom.html).
2. People in many regions are complaining that officials there aren’t keeping them updated about what is happening and have failed to take local conditions into account in designing the isolation regime (ndelo.ru/novosti/vlasti-dagestana-prodolzhayut-molchat-ob-epidemii-pnevmonii and newizv.ru/news/society/25-04-2020/my-upali-nizhe-dna-kak-perenositsya-karantin-v-zapolyarnom-murmanske).
3. Seventy percent of websites devoted to the coronavirus have been set up by criminals who are seeking to extract money from the credulous, officials say (vz.ru/society/2020/4/24/1035840.html).
4. An epidemiologist warns that the number of violations of the self-isolation regime will increase to the point that another wave of infections is inevitable (zavtra.ru/events/virusolog_predupredil_o_vozmozhnih_massovih_narusheniyah_samoizolyatcii_v_znak_protesta).
5. A major reason that the pandemic has spread so rapidly in military training academies, investigative journalist say, is that commanders are not taking even the most basic precautions such as taking the temperature of students there (dailystorm.ru/obschestvo/skandal-v-voennom-universitete-mo-rf-nikto-i-ni-razu-dazhe-ne-izmeryal-temperaturu).
6. On orders from the Russian prime minister, the defense ministry has opened three military hospitals in the North Caucasus for the treatment of coronavirus patients (facebook.com/groups/2421953458084994/permalink/2627531044193900/).
7. Activists in St. Petersburg have formed voluntary groups to bring food and provide human contact to the elderly in the northern capital. The need for both is far greater than they are able to meet, the volunteers say (gorod-812.ru/kak-ya-rabotayu-volonterom/).
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