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Russia’s Overly-Cautious COVID-19 Measures

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Russia's Overly-Cautious COVID-19 Measures

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In Russia, as of March 30th, there’s 1,836 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and out of them there’s been 10 fatalities, while 66 have recovered.

In Moscow alone, there are 1,226 cases, and 7 cases of death reportedly due to the coronavirus.

In Moscow and the Moscow Region, authorities introduced a regime of widespread self-isolation.

People are not allowed to leave the house, unless absolutely necessary. It will be possible to go outside only to buy groceries and medicine, to take out the garbage or walk the dog (no further than 100 m from the house).

In this case, it is necessary to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m from other people. For those who are forced to continue to work, special passes will be introduced. The Ministry of Internal Affairs refutes plans to impose curfews in the capital region. The rights of citizens to come to Moscow or leave the city are not limited.

Moscow authorities have reported that coronavirus is dangerous for people of almost all ages.

According to the operational headquarters, almost half of the patients in serious condition are people under the age of 60, and almost 40% of patients under 40 need ventilators to recover. The reports regarding the usage of ventilators as well as a high number of patients raise some questions because they go contrary to numbers and % from all other countries around the world. According to some Russian sources, these reports are based on the data from only one hospital (in Moscow’s Kommunarka area), where critical COVID-19 cases are concentrated, and do not represent the situation across the country.

The senator, head of the Federation Council committee on constitutional law and state building, Andrei Klishas, said that the regional authorities did not have the right to impose such restrictions in accordance with the Constitution.

At the same time, the Kremlin agreed with the introduction of a mass regime of self-isolation. The restrictive measures introduced in Moscow and Moscow region due to the spread of coronavirus disease correspond to the tasks of combating infection and ensuring the safety of the population, said Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson.

“The measures taken by the authorities of Moscow, and the authorities of the Moscow Region, and the measures actually recommended to all other regions of the Russian Federation, <…> they are implemented in the interests of people. I will not give a legal assessment,” said the spokesman for the Russian President.

Separately, the crew of the Project 949AM (Antey modernized) nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine – the Orel – are in quarantine, after a civilian specialist had gone on board, who had met with a man infected with COVID-19 was on board on a business trip.

In addition to the crew of the Orel, the crew of a neighboring submarine and a floating workshop were quarantined.

Currently, the submarine is located in Murmansk, and the entire region has 4 confirmed COVID-19 infections.

In one of Moscow’s hospitals, an 84-year-old woman with confirmed COVID-19 died, the press service of the Moscow operations headquarters reports.

“The patient was on mechanical ventilation. The woman also suffered from diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma and cardiovascular diseases,” the statement said.

In addition, according to Rospotrebnadzor, COVID-19 was confirmed in a 48-year-old resident of the Vladimir region who died of pneumonia.

The third death on March 30th was in St. Petersburg, Governor Alexander Beglov said.

“Unfortunately, information has just arrived that an autopsy showed that another person who died was also ill with a coronavirus infection. So far there are two people in St. Petersburg,” he said during a meeting in Smolny.

Thus, people are dying due to the underlying conditions, most of the time, and it is subsequently discovered that they had COVID-19, and it is registered as a death by the virus.

Finally, In Ryazan and Vologda regions a full quarantine was introduced. Ryazan region has 5 cases, while Vologda region has 2.

It is quite clear that the COVID-19 situation is severe, especially in the US, Italy and Spain, while China has almost entirely recovered and normality is returning. Whether such a severe response by Russian is warranted remains in question.

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