Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Pandemic Surge Began Right after Election Because Russians 'Tired of Being Afraid’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 8 – The current upsurge in coronavirus cases,  hospitalizations and deaths began immediately after the Duma elections not because of contact at the voting booth, Russian analysts say; but rather because people have become “tired of being afraid” and took fewer precautions (7x7-journal.ru/articles/2021/10/08/lyudi-ustali-boyatsya-kak-menyalas-situaciya-s-zabolevaemostyu-covid-19-v-regionah-posle-vyborov).

            This was entirely predictable, other Russian epidemiologists say; and the authorities have utterly failed to take the actions needed to prevent the surge, which today alone led  27,246 new cases of infection and 936 new deaths from the coronavirus, as the pandemic intensified throughout the country (kp.ru/daily/28340/4486407/, t.me/COVID2019_official/3647 and regnum.ru/news/society/3387415.html).

            But perhaps most seriously, the number of Russians being cared for by doctors and the medical system has now exceed one million, putting enormous strain on the Russian healthcare system which in recent years has been cut back by the Kremlin to save money for spending on its revanchist foreign policy (regnum.ru/news/3393237.html).

            With no leadership from Vladimir Putin, Russia’s federal subjects are struggling to combat the pandemic surge, with ever more of them adopting either obligatory vaccination programs or imposing new and often draconian restrictions on various groups of the population (regnum.ru/news/3392627.html and znak.com/2021-10-08/kakie_regiony_uzhe_vveli_ogranicheniya_po_koronavirusu_i_k_chemu_gotovitsya_ostalnym).

            And today, Rosstat reported that Russia suffered 65,000 excess deaths in August, a 45 percent increase from the same month a year earlier. Not all of these are covid related; but nearly 50,000 of them appear linked in one way or another to the pandemic (rosstat.gov.ru/folder/313/document/137774).

            Moscow officials reported that 47.8 million Russians have had at least one shot of the vaccine and 42.2 million have had the full course, far below what central officials said was there goal and increasing at a rate which will not produce herd immunity anytime soon (regnum.ru/news/3393446.html).

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

·         Mikhail Gorbachev has ended his quarantine but remains in self-isolation, his aides say (regnum.ru/news/3392705.html).

·         Moscow officials say there is no record of anyone dying from the coronavirus vaccine (politsovet.ru/71863-roszdravnadzor-v-rossii-net-umershih-iz-za-privivki-ot-koronavirusa.html).

·         And Russian officials say they are close to the recognition of the Russian vaccine and Russian certifications of vaccination by the European Union (regnum.ru/news/3392898.html and regnum.ru/news/3393026.html).

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