Russia’s Low Coronavirus Figures May Not Be Telling the Entire Story

By Paul Riegler on 22 March 2020
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Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow

Some health officials believe that Russia may be underreporting the number of patients with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

To date, Russia has reported 367 confirmed coronavirus infections. The figures are possible, although unlikely to be correct, experts caution.

Russia, a country of 145 million people, has far fewer confirmed coronavirus infections than far smaller countries such as Luxembourg, which has a population of 602,000 and over 798 cases or Italy, which has a population of 60.4 million and which has reported over 53,300 cases.

The country has extensive business and tourism links with virus hotspots in China, the European Union, and Iran, and despite the sunny outlook from Russian President Vladimir Putin, it seems unlikely thatthe official count of 367 is correct, even though the Russia did close its borders with China at the end of January and, in February, barred Chinese citizens.

Putin on Thursday said the low figures result from “prompt measures taken proactively” in the first weeks of the epidemic.

Meanwhile, doctors in Russia say that the government is covering up the number of coronavirus cases. Anastasia Vasilyeva, the head of Russia’s Alliance of Doctors trade union, made in a video released last Thursday. She said that health authorities in Russia were classifying cases of the novel coronavirus as pneumonia.

“While the whole world is facing an outbreak of a new coronavirus, Russia is facing an outbreak of a community-acquired pneumonia,” she said.

Russian authorities denied the charges.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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