Staunton, August 9 – Demographers suggest that 100 million Russians have been infected with the coronavirus and then recovered, but 700,000 have died because of shortcomings in the medial system and the slowness of the rollout of the vaccine, sociologist Aleksey Zakharov says.
As a result, he continues, one can conclude that “to a great degree, the country has lost the war with covid,” a reality that the government implicitly acknowledges by offering the population increasingly fraudulent statistics as the third wave has worsened the epidemiological situation (rosbalt.ru/posts/2021/08/09/1915254.html).
During the first two waves of the pandemic, Zakharov says, the Russian government’s operational staff understated losses by about a third, now it is reporting only half of the deaths that figures from ZAGS and Rosstat show, a significant deterioration in the information about the coronavirus it is providing to the Russian people.
Today, Russian officials reported 22,160 new cases of infection and 769 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic continued to spread across the country, with deteriorating conditions still outnumbering improving ones (t.me/COVID2019_official/3422and regnum.ru/news/society/3337040.html
On the vaccine front, Vladimir Putin, 17 months since he told the governors that they and not he were responsible for dealing with the pandemic, has “recommended” that they take personal control for the vaccination program, thus further distancing himself from another aspect of the government’s response that is in trouble (regnum.ru/news/3340645.html).
Medical experts said that there was no reason to launch a mass vaccination program for children, and higher educational officials divided on the vaccine, with the minister saying he opposes mandatory shots but many universities deciding to have those without them go to distance learning rather than allowing them to attend class (regnum.ru/news/3339971.html, regnum.ru/news/3340764.html and regnum.ru/news/3340102.html).
Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related developments in Russia today,
· An Altai scholar said that he believes the decline in spending on funerals even though the death rate is going up reflects fears about infection rather than the worsening economic situaiton in the country (regnum.ru/news/3340070.html).
· Russians reacted with outrage to the government’s staging of a concert for Olympic champions at a time when most other public gatherings are being postponed because of the pandemic (regnum.ru/news/3339870.html).
· A St. Petersburg analyst says that the pandemic is among other things “big business” and that the government is trying to ensure that its coffers are filled before anyone else’s even if that means those with infected can’t get the treatment they need (apn-spb.ru/publications/article33799.htm).