Staunton, Sept. 4 – The public healthcare system in Siberia, never robust, was further compromised by Vladimir Putin’s “optimization” program. The pandemic has left it without the capacity to meet demand. As a result, the private sector has rushed in to try to do so for profit (kommersant.ru/doc/4974565).
According to Kommersant, Businesstat projects that private sector medicine will have grown by almost 20 percent by the end of this year compared to 12 months ago and will be ten percent larger than it was just before the pandemic begun. Similar but likely smaller gains for the private sector have occurred in other regions as well.
Today, Russian officials reported 18,780 new cases of infection and 796 new deaths from the coronavirus over the last 24 hours as the pandemic ebbed and flowed across the country (t.me/COVID2019_official/3511, regnum.ru/news/society/3352534.html and regnum.ru/news/society/3361504.html).
Officials released a variety of other statistics about the pandemic, including the fact that there have been 180.4 million covid tests conducted since the start of the pandemic and that 25.03 percent of the Russian population has had two doses of the vaccine (rg.ru/2021/09/04/v-rossii-sdelali-bolee-180-mln-testov-na-koronavirus.html and stavkiprognozy.ru/novosti/skolko_privito_ot_koronavirusa_v_rossii_skolko_privitykh_04-sep-2021.html).
All these figures should be treated with caution and even skepticism. There is increasing criticism not only of the all-Russian figures Moscow released but figures released by regional and republic governments, many of which want to make themselves appear better than they are (babr24.com/irk/?IDE=218456 and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/367742/).
Consumer affairs chief Anna Popova said Moscow isn’t contemplating a new lockdown but the only way to prevent that from happening is for more people to get vaccinated (ria.ru/20210903/lokdaun-1748552677.html). Meanwhile, St. Petersburg officials said they are expected a fourth wave in October (https://regnum.ru/news/3361172.html).
Moscow officials have lifted quarantine requirements for people arriving in Russia from Great Britain, and nightclubs in Buryatia have reopened but only for those who can show they have been vaccinated (regnum.ru/news/3361251.html and regnum.ru/news/3361571.html).
The health ministry said it was giving increasing attention to those suffering from “long covid,” a condition that can last six to nine months or more, and seeking to ensure that the regions have sufficient funds to treat these people as well as those are a suffering from the regular kind (iarex.ru/articles/82411.html).