The Impact of COVID-19 in Russia

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MOSCOW, Russia — Despite President Vladimir Putin’s guarded optimism, Russia’s registered COVID-19 cases jumped from roughly 50,000 infections in late April to more than 300,000 registered infections as of May 20, 2020. There was a delayed impact of COVID-19 in Russia when compared to other nations. Through enacting various federally-mandated quarantine measures, the government of the Russian Federation and its people have made a continuous attempt to stem the rate of COVID-19 infections. Moscow has been enforcing some quarantine measures since March 30, 2020. They are expected to stay in place until May 31, 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 in Russia

  • Due to Russia’s meteoric rise of roughly 10,000 COVID-19 infections per day from May 2 to May 13, 2020, the country now holds the world’s second-fastest rate of new infections after the U.S.
  • As of May 20, there were more than 300,000 registered cases of coronavirus in Russia. More than 85,000 people have recovered.
  • Germany’s ratio for fatalities from COVID-19 is nearly four times higher than Russia’s .9%. Even with its model healthcare system, “the case-fatality ratio” is 3.9%.
  • Moscow is a hotspot. The Russian capital holds the majority of the infected with more than 85,000 registered COVID-19 infections. 
  • The coronavirus poses a serious threat to the stability of the Russian economy. A drop in the global petroleum demand could lead to further drops in oil prices, especially during the ongoing price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • Moscow’s official cases of pneumonia have risen tremendously. Critics cite this as potential evidence that the official COVID-19 death toll is inaccurate. Pneumonia is often caused by COVID-19; therefore, the 53% increase of pneumonia patients in Moscow from February 2019 to February 2020 has caused alarm.
  • In the Republic of Dagestan, one doctor reported that 12 people had died of pneumonia in the four days prior to April 28 alone. The majority of those cases were “most certainly coronavirus,” he stated. Yet, there were only 11 reported COVID-19 fatalities in the entirety of Dagestan at that time.

What the Government Is Doing

The Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved the creation of a COVID-19 taskforce on Jan. 29, 2020. One protective measure that Russia enacted was closing hotels to new guests until June 1, 2020. Officials are performing “mandatory temperature screenings and other diagnostic measures” at all “major transit hubs.” There are potential criminal penalties for spreading infection of COVID-19 in Russia, including up to seven years of jail time.

In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, Russia put most of the population of 140 million on lockdown under a mandatory, paid work-stoppage. Authorities have mandated various, city-wide self-isolation in Russia since March 30, 2020. Russian law enforcement utilizes drones to spot quarantine violators in the parks of Moscow. The city also imposed an electronic pass system on April 15, 2020 to regulate vehicular travel within and into Moscow. The rules apply to all travel via personal vehicles and any form of public transportation. Violations result in fines between ₽1,000 to ₽40,000 rubles. It is also mandatory for public transport passengers to wear masks and gloves.

Looking Ahead

Regardless of the fact that there’s been a recent surge of official infections, Russia’s COVID-19 case – fatality ratio of .9 percent is remarkable. The Russian Federation and its people have taken numerous, drastic measures in the struggle against the spread of COVID-19 in Russia. As of May 2, there are now 14 centers in Moscow studying COVID-19 tests. Amid this disorienting pandemic, the official website for the Moscow City Government supplies its residents with the phone number to an informational coronavirus hotline and to psychological support services.

Carlos Williams
Photo: Wikimedia

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