Staunton, March 29 – The Russian government has been all too ready to blame the increase in deaths in the country over the last year entirely on the pandemic, Aleksandr Saversky, head of the Social Council for the Defense of Patients, says. But in fact, a large share of the increase reflected shortcomings in the healthcare system more generally.
That means that while the mortality rate may fall somewhat in 2021 and succeeding years, it is unlikely to return to pre-2020 levels unless and until the government spends more on the healthcare system as a whole, something it has been reluctant to do up to now (versia.ru/provaly-demograficheskoj-politiki-vlasti-spisali-na-kovid).
Today, Moscow reported registering 8711 new cases of covid infection and 293 new deaths, both the lowest figures since early last fall, as the pandemic continued to ebb across most of the country despite some continuing hotspots where these statistics actually increased (t.me/COVID2019_official/2680 and regnum.ru/news/society/3226201.html).
Russian officials were generally upbeat about the situation, with the Kremlin confirming that the May 9 Victory Parade will take place and that restrictions will soon be lifted (regnum.ru/news/3228362.html, regnum.ru/news/3227913.html, https://regnum.ru/news/3227923.html and regnum.ru/news/3227915.html).
But there was one dark spot that affects Russians across the country. Officials say that quarantine requirements are likely to prevent summer camps for children to operate at anything like their normal level again this year and that most young people will have to spend the summer at home (ng.ru/economics/2021-03-29/4_8114_summer.html).
On the vaccine front, commentator Sergey Markov says that Russia must make a dramatic comeback if it is to take the leadership in the battle of vaccines. After being the first to develop a medication, it has not inoculated nearly as high a percentage of its population as some other countries (echo.msk.ru/blog/sergei_markov/2812776-echo/