Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Kremlin Claims It has Pandemic Under Control but Reports from Across Russia Show It Doesn’t

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 14 – Despite the fact that the pandemic is now leading to almost a thousand deaths in Russia every day and despite reports that hospitals are overloaded and that oxygen among other things is in short supply, the Kremlin continues to maintain that it has the entire situation under control (profile.ru/society/povtorenie-projdennogo-rossii-grozit-novaya-volna-pandemii-strashnee-vseh-predydushhih-942251/, regnum.ru/news/3398093.html and regnum.ru/news/3397385.html).

            But today, there were two developments that showed just how out of control the situation in Russia now is. On the one hand, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who has refused to promote vaccinations much in the past said not getting vaccinated was completely “irresponsible” (regnum.ru/news/3397951.html).

            And on the other, the health ministry called on doctors who are self-isolating because of exposure to the virus to return to work, a step that drew criticism as irresponsible short-term thinking and one that several regions indicated they have no intention of following (regnum.ru/news/3397816.html, regnum.ru/news/3397998.html and regnum.ru/news/3398004.html).

            As the pandemic intensified in many regions, Russian officials reported registering a countrywide total of 31,299 new cases of infection and 986 new deaths from the coronavirus, a suggesting that the pandemic has now broken through the previous high plateau (t.me/COVID2019_official/3694 and regnum.ru/news/society/3394205.html).

            Moscow has been particularly hard hjit with infections jumping more than 50 percent from yesterday to 6712 cases, despite promises to distribute apartments to some residents who get the vaccines and Mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s suggestion that draconian measures may be necessary, but none so draconian that they will harm the economy (regnum.ru/news/3397871.html and  regnum.ru/news/3398369.html).

            Schools in the Russian capital have begun going over to distance learning at a massive rate. As of today, some 90,000 pupils are in distance learning in the city (regnum.ru/news/3397934.html).

            In other pandemic-related news, research shows that the situation in Russia is “much worse now” than it was nine months ago when only a few people had been vaccinated and that the pandemic is beginning to fray people’s nerves and lead to more conflicts in the workplace (nakanune.ru/articles/117731/ and superjob.ru/research/articles/113119/pandemiya-provociruet-konflikty-na-rabote/).

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