Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Pandemic hasn’t Ebbed in Close to Half of Russia, Experts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 20 – Moscow officials from Vladimir Putin on down say that the pandemic is ebbing in Russia, but statistics gathered by independent medical experts show that “at a minimum,” it has plateaued or gotten worse in 39 and that only in seven has there been any significant decline (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2020/06/20/85929-kreml-teryaet-koronu).

            But because one of those seven is Moscow, Russian officials as usual are projecting what they see around them there to the entire country without examining what is actually going on beyond the ring road. What Novaya gazeta has done is to assemble available data from the regions to highlight just how different the situation is there than in Moscow.

            The figures the independent paper offers forces one when seeing the daily Russia-wide figure (t.me/COVID2019_official/852) to reflect on the old Soviet saying that the average temperature in a hospital is normal, because those who are sick have higher temperatures than that while those who are already dead are lower.

            And those numbers continue to rise, with 7889 new cases and 161 new deaths, the latter up slightly from the day before with the latter down slightly (versia.ru/v-rossii-za-sutki-zaregistrirovano-7889-novyx-sluchaev-zarazheniya-koronavirusom-obshhee-chislo-smertej-prevysilo-8-tysyach).

            Putin continued to be upbeat by suggesting that Russian treatments for coronavirus victims are “the best in the world” (rbc.ru/society/20/06/2020/5eedf6cf9a7947472a1ee792), but the real situation in the country is better reflected by his announcement that he is extending bonus pay to doctors and other medical workers for another two months (youtube.com/watch?v=8T9SFZDP60Q).

            Meanwhile, Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu says that all 14,000 soldiers who will take part in the Red Square Victory parade are “in general” immune to the coronavirus, although he did not indicate how that had been determined (rosbalt.ru/moscow/2020/06/20/1849900.html).

            And while Russia’s wealthy are pleased that the government won’t introduce super taxes on them, all evidence points to the fact that ever more of them are planning to emigrate if conditions continue to deteriorate (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/77464).

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