Staunton, September 21 – For the first seven months of 2020, 57,961 more Russians died than did in the same period in 2020, Rosstat says. Of those, the coronavirus was the primary cause for 22,600 of these deaths and a secondary cause for 15,300 more. As a result, two-thirds of the increase was linked to the pandemic (medvestnik.ru/content/articles/Statistiki-priznali-COVID-19-osnovnoi-prichinoi-izbytochnoi-smertnosti-rossiyan.html).
Today, the Russian authorities reported that there had been 6196 new cases of infection, upping the total to 1,109,595 and 71 additional deaths, raising that toll to 19,489 (regnum.ru/news/society/3064298.html).
Rates among young people also remained high, forcing ever more schools to go over to distance learning despite the Kremlin’s commitment to in-class instruction (svpressa.ru/health/news/276499/, regnum.ru/news/3069528.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3058174.html).
Most Russians believe that the pandemic is still a threat, with fewer than one in five saying the danger is exaggerated (ng.ru/news/690390.html). Medical experts are even more dire, with some now saying that the coronavirus pandemic will continue “at a minimum” until 2022, far longer than the Kremlin has suggested (regnum.ru/news/3069512.html).
But perhaps the most disturbing news of the day came from Academician Dmitry Pushkar who said on Russian television that some people who contract the virus won’t be identified as such because the existing tests are not sensitive enough to determine who is infected and who is not (regnum.ru/news/3069157.html).
Prime Minsiter Mikhail Murashko says that the WHO has helped Russia send its testing systems to 40 countries, something countries which aren’t members of that organization can’t count on (regnum.ru/news/3069343.html and regnum.ru/news/3069270.html). Meanwhile, Chinese scientists said that Russians on whom Beijing’s vaccine had been tested have experienced no negative side effects (petrovax.com/press_centre/news/2020/1881/).
Outrage continued to spread about the prices of over-the-counter anti-coronavirus medications, as officials of the company which produced it sought to justify them by the high costs of development and the fact that these medications can save lives (regnum.ru/news/3069275.html and https://regnum.ru/news/3069250.html).
Despite some positive signs in the economy, one indication that the situation with regard to individual Russians remains dire is that banks are now selling an increasing number of bad personal loans to collectors (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/80170).
Meanwhile, in other coronavirus-related developments in Russia today,
· At least one hospital intended to treat coronavirus victims lacks the equipment to do so, as others announce they won’t be shutting down anytime soon (regnum.ru/news/3069544.html and regnum.ru/news/3068688.html).
· Because commercial flights have been restored, Moscow has ended its evacuation program for Russians caught abroad (regnum.ru/news/3068594.html).
· Russian commentator Vladislav Inozemtsev says the race for a vaccine resembles nothing so much as the arms race during the Cold War (rosbalt.ru/posts/2020/09/21/1864393.html).