Russia’s handling of Corona: the big bluff?

WHO team begins investigation in Wuhan
WHO team begins investigation in Wuhan

Dealing with Corona in Russia raises many questions: Shops, bars and restaurants are open, and in some cases the mask requirement has already been abolished. But Moscow is lagging behind when it comes to vaccination – despite its own vaccine.

Shops and restaurants are open. Daycare centers, schools and universities have also recently started. Visiting cinemas or museums is also permitted. In the Russian regions of Chechnya and Udmurtia, the mask requirement has even been abolished. Russia is making brisk progress in easing the corona restrictions. For 33-year-old Anatoly from Moscow, this was overdue: “I’ve waited a long time for this. I think that makes sense, especially now that there are mass vaccinations and the authorities already know what they’re doing.”

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But some people still have a bad feeling – after all, the daily number of infections is only slowly falling. Nationwide they are 15,000, the number of deaths is high at more than 550. Many don’t care. In Moscow, the 21-year-old student Olga observes that Corona is often carelessly dealt with: “People are fed up with sitting at home, and now everyone is running into the bars and clubs. There are queues outside and many people inside . And nobody cares about wearing a mask or keeping their distance. At the university, many sit in one room, close together and all without a mask. Fever is measured, but it is easy to get infected. “

Numbers are far apart

How long can that go well, one wonders. Obviously, the danger posed by new corona mutants does not matter. And the officially published figures on Corona are far apart. Take excess mortality, for example: the Russian statistics agency Rosstat announced at the beginning of the week that the number of corona deaths, at 162,000, is more than twice as high as that of the Russian Ministry of Health.

Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskow then put it into perspective: “These are sad numbers for all of us, but that is the reality we are confronted with. It is not only about Corona, but also about the direct and indirect consequences. It is yes, not only Russia affected, but almost all countries in the world. “

Russia boasts of having a trump card in its hand in the fight against Corona with the Sputnik V vaccine. A few days ago, President Vladimir Putin again highlighted the effectiveness of over 91 percent, confirmed by studies that were published in the renowned science magazine “The Lancet”. “This magazine ‘The Lancet’ has demonstrated its high status and of course its objectivity,” said Putin. “Because of course hundreds of thousands of vaccinations in Russia have confirmed these conclusions.”

Residue in vaccination

Internationally, however, Russia is now lagging behind when it comes to vaccinations. According to the developer of Sputnik V, just under four million vaccine doses have been administered to date. That would correspond to a quota of 2.7 percent of the population. For comparison: in Germany around four percent, in the USA just under 13 percent and in Great Britain almost 20 percent of the population have been vaccinated. There is no exact information about the available delivery quantities of Sputnik V.

Kirill Dmitrijew from the Russian investment fund, which is responsible for marketing Sputnik V, only stepped on the brakes this week when the question of possible deliveries to the EU after approval came up. “The large deliveries to the EU will only be possible when the mass vaccinations in Russia have ended. So around May.

According to experts, however, 60 percent of the population would have to be vaccinated for this. It is questionable whether this can be done in the remaining three and a half months.