On April 16th, the local Moscow authorities reported that all people respiratory symptoms will be diagnosed with “suspected coronavirus infection”. Authorities cllaimed that symptoms of both diseases in the early stages are similar.
It should be noted that the COVID-19 has been spreading in Russia for about a month. This measure as well as the quarantine for thousands of people coming from Europe would be effective in the start of the COVID-19 spread.
Under this pretext, they will also be sent for compulsory self-isolation.
“The virus is already actively spreading within the city. Under these conditions, distinguishing an early degree of coronavirus from a simple ARVI is quite difficult. Therefore, on the proposal of the clinical committee, we decided that we would regard all cases of SARS as suspected coronavirus,” Deputy Moscow Mayor Anastasia Rakova said.
She added that the epidemiological situation in the city remains tense.
“We daily record the growth of patients, and among them there are fewer people who have a trip abroad in their epidemiological history,” Rakova said.
The deputy mayor also noted that patients with acute respiratory viral infections in Moscow will be placed under outpatient monitoring, which involves daily monitoring of health through telephone calls.
“All patients who suffer from acute respiratory viral infections or acute diseases of the upper respiratory tract will be treated more carefully. All of these people will be placed on an outpatient basis under dynamic monitoring, which involves daily monitoring of their health through telephone calls. If the patient’s condition changes for the worse side therapy will be immediately adjusted,” Rakova said.
She added that if the patient has a suspicion of pneumonia, he will have to be examined in outpatient CT centers (computed tomography). These centers allow a comprehensive examination of the patient. Today in the city there are more than 40 such centers.
“Over the past three days, 7,000 tests have been carried out in these CT centers. 30% of people have been identified with early stages of pneumonia and 3,000 have already been given out medications so that they can be treated at home,” the deputy mayor said.
Thus, for patients with acute respiratory viral infections who violate quarantine, the same rules will apply as for violators with confirmed COVID-19, noted in the headquarters.
For leaving the house, citizens can be fined 15,000 rubles ($200). If his actions led to infection and death of other people, then the punishment for individuals is already up to 300,000 rubles ($4,000).
It should be reminded that another measure – the digital pass system launched on April 15th in Moscow and it severely backfired. The launch of the system blocked Moscow city with traffic jams and metro stations being full of people, waiting in line for their digital passes to be checked by authorities. In fact, these actions contributed to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Russia and derailed the recent weeks of the ‘self-isolation regime’ and sacrifices of the Russian economy.
Over the past weeks, Moscow authorities employed a variety of measures that in fact did not contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. At the same time, these measures caused a notable damage to the economy and the society.
These actions significantly undermined the trust into the Sobyanin team. Therefore, Moscow authorities are apparently seeking to do all what is possible to justify their ‘anti-COVID-19’ approach. The decision to label all people with respiratory symptoms as COVID-19 suspected is likely a part of this attempt. It will allow shaping the COVID-19 statistics increasing the number of COVID-19-related cases and deaths. People in the acute phase of respiratory viral infections and seasonal influenza could be mixed with with indeed COVID-19 patients. This will impact the number of COVID-19-related deaths because postmortal tests will show an increased number of COVID-19 infections obtained through intrahospital infections.
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