Thursday, December 17, 2020

Putin Health Care Cutbacks Continue Even During Pandemic

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 15 – In some Russian regions, doctors even now are being laid off and hospitals cut back or even closed as part of Vladimir Putin’s optimization program that is designed to save Moscow money. Officials justify this action during the pandemic by pointing to declines in the number of people living in those areas (

            Today, officials reported registering 26,689 new cases of infection and 577 new deaths from the coronavirus ( Rosstat defended its excess death figures which show a higher toll from the pandemic than the government is otherwise reporting, and Andrey Illarionov published an analysis showing why ( and

            Health officials said that the pandemic continues to flare in many places but overall the situation is stable, although not yet irreversibly so, and called on Russians to wear masks and practice distancing even as they get the vaccine (, and

            Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that five deputies had been re-infected after earlier saying that more than 30 had contracted the coronavirus ( That will add fuel to the fire of arguments about whether re-infections are possible and how frequent they may be.

            Moscow oblast has extended and tightened restrictions, but Kaliningrad oblast having announced new restrictions, then dropped them from its official website with officials saying that not all the restrictions would in fact be imposed over the holidays ( and

            Aeroflot, which had said it would not carry anyone without a mask, has now backed down and announced it will put those who refuse to wear a mask in a special section of its planes ( Also today, the Moscow Patriarchate said it will fight any restrictions on church services at Christmas (

            On the vaccine front, officials reported that more than 150,000 Russians have received the vaccine, including 6,000 in Moscow ( They also said foreigners in Russia can get the shots (

            In other vaccine news, Japanese media are reporting that North Korea has arranged to purchase the Russian vaccine (, and a new investigation found that many supposed volunteers for the vaccine tests were in fact paid by the companies developing them (

            The economic crisis continues to deeper. A new poll found that the share of Russians who consider themselves poor has risen by 25 percent over the last several months alone, and another survey found that Russians are cutting back on 90 percent of the items on their shopping lsits ( and

            Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,

·         Muscovites may be fined for distributing online pictures showing violations of the sanitary rules in healthcare facilities (

·         Myths about the coronavirus continue to spread, including most prominently that it was created as a weapon, that smoking and drinking help prevent one from getting it, and that all government measures against the pandemic are useless (

·         LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said the shortage of caskets in Kaliningrad was “shameful” (

No comments:

Post a Comment