Staunton, August 29 – The real number of Russians who now have immunity to the coronavirus is 40 million, a figure that means most have been infected and developed antibodies without being aware of it and also that the death rate from the pandemic is “40 times less” than officials have reported, Anna Popova, head of the Russian consumer protection agency, says.
The undercount reflects the fact that few people without symptoms have been tested – 36 million tests have been administered in Russia so far (regnum.ru/news/3048920.html) -- and that the share of those tested who will be hospitalized and die is far higher than the facts warrant, she says (nakanune.ru/news/2020/8/29/22582487/).
This much lower lethality rate also means, Popova suggests, that many Russians, including the elderly, were subjected to “unjustified limitations” on their activities on the basis of assumptions about the death rate among them. Her words will both further erode public confidence in official reports and willingness of people to follow government recommendations.
New polls show that more than half of all Russians – 53 percent – do not believe that mass vaccinations are needed; and despite what some might think, about half are getting information on that from doctors and other medical personnel, with only 20 percent getting it online (iarex.ru/articles/77210.html).
In this situation, Vladimir Putin has called on Russians to obey all recommendations by doctors and specialists on how they and their children should behave as the school year begins (regnum.ru/news/3048967.html).
Russian officials announced that they have registered 4941 new cases of infection, bringing the cumulative total to 985,346 and 111 new deaths, boosting that toll to 17,025 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1379). Meanwhile, reports from the federal subjects show the pandemic is continuing to ebb and flow (regnum.ru/news/society/3045839.html).
And in a report about how things can go wrong in this complicated time, doctors at an Omsk hospital have agreed to pay for the reburial of pensioners who died from the coronavirus and were interred earlier without the approval or even notification of their relatives (omskinform.ru/news/145342).
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