Author`s name Lyuba Lulko

Can Russia cope with coronavirus?

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin introduced serious measures to prevent coronavirus-caused diseases. At the same time, doctors and health officials say that coronavirus is not serious a problem at all.

Pravda.Ru correspondents tried to contact infectious hospitals in Moscow in an attempt to receive an expert on the topic of coronavirus in Russia, but it turned out that the Russian Healthcare Ministry prohibited giving any comments to the media.

The decree on the introduction of the regime of high alert due to the threat of the spread of coronavirus was published on the website of the Moscow mayor.

For passengers arriving from China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Spain and other countries, where the situation is alarming, compulsory quarantine will be introduced for 14 days upon their return to Russia. Such people will have to:

  • refrain from attending work and studies;
  • minimize their visits to public places;
  • stay home in case of respiratory symptoms and call a doctor.

Employers must:

  •     ensure the measurement of body temperature for employees and exclude any sick people in their premises.
  •     in case an employee becomes ill, the employer must provide the data on all contacts of the sick person to the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service (Rospotrebnadzor) and ensure disinfection of the premises where the person was staying.

Nikolai Govorin, deputy chairman of the State Duma Health Protection Committee, told Pravda.Ru that he has never seen such a situation in his work practice.

"I personally witnessed how the swine flu epidemic was developing in the Trans-Baikal Territory several years ago. Yet, there were no major, nationwide preparations conducted."

From the point of view of Igor Gundarov, doctor of medical sciences, professor, academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, the Moscow authorities are trying to pursue something else under the guise of the struggle against coronavirus.

"I can see here a nice legitimate attempt to make people stay home for some extraordinary political situations that may occur," the expert told Pravda.Ru.

According to Gundarov, there are no indications for imposing restrictions.

This is not an epidemic

According to him, an epidemic is a considerable growth in the basic incidence rate above the norm and local outbreaks of infectious and viral diseases. For example, the annual incidence of influenza oversways 5-10 times.

"People do not die of coronavirus - they die of pneumonia, which was caused by coronavirus. Pneumonia can also be caused by streptococcus, staphylococcus, pneumococcus, coronaviruses, of which are about 30-40 different kinds and 5-7 of them are infectious," said Igor Gundarov.

The specialist does not see data to say that the current outbreak of coronavirus is an epidemic.

"Two thousand people have died in China, which is a 1.4-billion-strong nation. By the way, coronavirus has been in Wuhan for about seven years already. As many as 800 people died in these 7 years, and now we have 2,000 deaths in three months. In Russia, pneumonia kills 30-35 thousand die every year, which is 2,500 deaths every month. Russia is a 140-million-strong nation, so these numbers do not indicate any epidemic," said the expert.