Moscow orders unvaccinated over-60s to stay home for 4 months

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On Tuesday, Moscow’s mayor ordered all illiterate residents over 60 as well as those with “chronic illnesses” to stay home for four months until the end of February, as the city grapples with a growing crisis.

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The national government has also proposed introducing a non-working week in early November, and senior figures have begun to openly acknowledge that the situation is dire as the Russians head towards a foggy winter.

Russia has recorded its highest number of daily cases and deaths at various times in recent days, and it recorded a record 1,028 official deaths on Wednesday.

Experts say delays in immunization programs and failures in government messages are factors behind what is now at risk of flooding hospitals across the country.

“I think the country is now falling into disaster,” Vasily Vlasov, a Russian epidemiologist and former adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO), told Granthshala.

“I hope that we will soon reach a certain threshold beyond which we will not go, but it is still very high morbidity and mortality. Hospitals are overwhelmed,” Vlasov said, predicting that by the end of the year Before the deaths will increase even more. .

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And there are concerns that Russia’s official figures do not reflect the true scale of its public health emergency.

“(A) the person who dies of respiratory failure from covid often comes up in the figures as a person who died of respiratory failure but not from covid,” Vlasov said. “High morbidity in Russia is seen as a sign of failure of the state and society.”

Granthshala previously reported concerns about Russian officials overstating the coronavirus death toll. Russia’s counting method does not include the share of deaths in official figures, saying people died “with Covid” but not “of Covid”, which does not follow WHO recommendations.

Government officials have begun talking openly about the depth of the crisis. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a Covid-19 taskforce meeting on Tuesday that the burden on medical institutions was seriously increasing, while the governor of the Oryol region, Andrey Klichkov, recently revealed that the region has no more coronavirus. There is no hospitalization capacity. Patient.

“The most terrifying statistic is that we had 1,854 beds ready, there are no more free beds available today. Of course, we will explore as many beds as we can to free up alternatives. But at the moment there are no beds available, and it’s serious. creates anxiety,” Klychkov said during a live broadcast on Instagram.

Russia’s efforts to reduce transmission have been severely hampered by a weak vaccination program. In a country where four home vaccines are available, only 31% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

“The main reason is mistrust of the authorities and the information they circulate,” Denis Volkov, director of the Levada-Center — a non-governmental polling and sociological research organization — told Granthshala.

“Conflicting information was circulated through the main channels from the very beginning: some said you need to be vaccinated, others said it was a fictional disease,” he said. “Various conspiracy theories were entertained on the state media. From the start there was no clear coherent message from the government.”

Medical workers vaccinate a patient at home.  Russia's vaccine campaign has stalled amid mistrust of vaccines and conflicting government messages.

Volkov also suggested that an early Russian campaign to promote their own vaccines and reduce foreign shots, instead reinforcing the concerns of many Russians about vaccines in general.

State Duma deputy speaker Pyotr Tolstoy said on Saturday: “It is time to say clearly: the state has lost the information campaign to combat the coronavirus and to convince people of the need for vaccination.”

“It’s a fact: people don’t trust the vaccine,” Tolstoy was quoted as saying by state media RIA Novosti.

On Tuesday, as the country hit another Covid death record, the Kremlin acknowledged its partial responsibility for low vaccination rates. “Of course, everything that needed to be done was not done to explain and explain the imperative and importance of vaccinations,” Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told reporters.

“But at the same time, the citizens of our country need to take a more responsible position and get vaccinated,” he said.

Some regions continue to impose local restrictions, depending on the severity of local Covid-19 conditions. But, till now, the government has been consistently saying that there is no ground to announce a complete lockdown.

“[The government] One political scientist, Ekaterina Shulman, told Granthshala, people are afraid to get angry, afraid to leave people without bread, which will make them even more angry.

“People have seen a steady decline in income since 2014, with support for the president waning since 2018. It’s risky to push people even further.”


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