The coronavirus epidemic in Russia is raging across Russia, while its government just a month ago claimed the virus hadn’t hit the country.
There's more than 12,000 confirmed cases, which is higher than the numbers in South Korea, the lack of equipment and basic means of protection, while authorities keep struggling to conceal the actual stats.
In fcat, propaganda tools used to hide the scale of the epidemic are harmful to the Russians themselves because what Russia does is transport the required equipment and protective gear abroad, showing off Russia's "concern" for countries with an allegedly graver situation. In turn, human rights commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova notes complaints about the catastrophic shortage of face masks and sanitizers, as well as issues with coronavirus tests across Russia.
On the other hand, the current developments confirm that not only were the authorities well aware of the real scale of the epidemic, they were also ready to play the scenario of maximum delay of quarantine. Although a Moscow mayor had been asking President Vladimir Putin to impose quarantine and put the capital on lockdown long before any other official voiced any concerns publicly.
Looking back at that mid-March appeal, I can suggest that Moscow had been facing a collapse already, while today, because of the connivance of central authorities, it's now simply plunging into the abyss.
Indeed, cities in Russia, especially Moscow, have been put in self-isolation mode. Even special permits have been introduced in the capital for people to go out of their homes due to the worsening situation, while violators are being fined.
But perhaps it's just a bit too late, I may suggest.
In Moscow's Gertsen National Medical Research Center for Radiology where cancer patients are treated, 138 of 277 employees tested positive for coronavirus. At the moment, one of the buildings has been locked down and cordoned off by the Russian Guard.
Loads of videos have been uploaded on social networks showing dozens of ambulance vehicles lined up in front of hospitals ER entrances.
Anastasia Rakova, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Social Development, recently said that the capital’s hospitals and ambulance services are working at top capacity. But now it's not even the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. Or is it?
Ms Rakova noted a peculiar nuance: metropolitan hospitals are filled with pneumonia patients – approximately 85% of the total number of admitted citizenes. This suggests that Moscow – just as other Russian cities and regions – keeps exploiting Russia's favorite tactic of not naming names, concealing COVID-19 under the guise of other diseases.
Not surprisingly, even Putin's appeals to Russian citizens contained no such terms as "quarantine" or "epidemic". He was overly mild in terminology, announcing a national "week-off" or a "month-off"... stopping short of using truthful and honest terms.
That's because the Kremlin doesn't care much about the health of the Russians, but rather about maintaining Putin's rating and suppressing the coronavirus panic in every possible way. They go all the way from blatant and unceremonious lies to public distraction by sending "humanitarian" aid (in fact, selling medical supplies) to the United States, and to Victory Day parade.
Meanwhile, Moscow keeps falling into the coronavirus abyss.