Vlad says it is ‘fake news’, without a hint of irony:The data showed that the Russian capital, which has 98 confirmed cases of coronavirus, recorded 6,921 pneumonia cases in January, up from 5,058 the previous year. Nationwide pneumonia cases also spiked by over 3 percent year-on-year.
Moscow’s health dept say cases are down despite the stats:The government says its statistics are accurate however, and President Vladimir Putin has complained that Russia is being targeted by fake news to sow panic.
Some Dr’s think the state is lying:Yet Moscow’s own health department issued a statement on March 13 saying pneumonia cases in January and February were actually 8% and 7% lower than last year.
It did not respond when asked why its data was so different.
Asked about the discrepancy, Rosstat said it did not know where Moscow’s health department was sourcing its numbers or how it could have produced such a result.
However, there is disagreement and reportedly patients are anxious and seeking help earlier than expected, leading to the pneumonia diagnosis:“I have a feeling they (the authorities) are lying to us,” said Anastasia Vasilyeva, head of Russia’s Doctor’s Alliance trade union.
“The idea that this pneumonia is coronavirus comes to mind,” said Vasilyeva. “There seem to be no other reasons for the rise,” she said.
Obviously, some are cynical of the Russian govt stats recalling Chernobyl as an example. The one reported C-19 death has been rediagnosed as a blood clot:“There is an explanation for this,” said Professor Vladimir Nikoforov, a prominent specialist in infectious diseases.
“The number of people seeking medical attention has risen due to anxiety among the population,” he said, saying people were seeking medical advice earlier than usual because they were worried about coronavirus. There were therefore more pneumonia diagnoses, he said.
“I don’t believe the coronavirus numbers,” said Ekaterina, a Moscow accountant. “I remember what they told us about Chernobyl at the time. It’s only now that we’re finding out what really happened.”
On Thursday, Moscow authorities reported Russia’s first coronavirus-related death, a 79-year old woman, but later said she’d died of a blood clot. The government did not include her death in its daily coronavirus bulletin.
Testing appears to be scarce according to him. He believes ‘in reality, there are significantly more sick people’:“A serious situation is unfolding,” Sobyanin told Putin at a meeting, saying the real number of cases was unclear but that they were increasing quickly.
Testing for the virus was scarce, he said, and many Muscovites returning from abroad were self-isolating at home or in holiday cottages in the countryside, and not being tested.
“In reality, there are significantly more sick people,” Sobyanin said.
To be fair, it seems a good rule of thumb, to self isolate after being abroad in a country which has many cases of the virus:The woman, identified as Irina Sannikova by police, is the most senior infections specialist in a regional branch of the health ministry in the southern region of Stavropol. She is also part of the area’s response team to the virus outbreak.
She did not disclose a March 6-9 trip to Spain to colleagues however, and returned to work despite being required to stay at home for 14 days, Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement.
Russia, which has asked everyone entering the country to self-isolate for two weeks, has 438 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far and one virus-related death.