Russian government lies about the real coronavirus rate in the country has reached international agenda.
It's a bit awkward to realize I've been writing about Russia manipulating COVID-19 mortality data back when it wasn't mainstream. Today, however, plenty of Western publications or think tanks have in their arsenal pieces about Russian government lies about the real situation with the spread of COVID-19 and its victims.
The Financial Times claims that the actual coronavirus death toll in Russia may well be some 70% over the officially announced figures. The newspaper analyzed mortality rates in Moscow and St. Petersburg over the past five years and found that in April alone, the rate for the two major cites was 2,073 over the average figure.
According to journalists, 1,444 deaths that exceed the average mortality rate over the five years remain "unaccounted for."
Good work, you, guys! But don't you know that people in Russia now mainly die from pneumonia, renal failure, cirrhosis, or binge drinking – pretty much anything but COVID-19… Coroners cite chronic diseases exacerbated by the coronavirus, not from the coronavirus itself, as cause of death. But, let's move on.
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus mortality rate in Russia seems implausible, since it doesn't exceed 0.9%, which is the lowest among countries with more than 40,000 cases.
I'd also like to remind researchers at Johns Hopkins University that Russia is not only the country with the fewest deaths among states with over 40,000 confirmed cases – they also report the lowest rate of recoveries among countries with more than 100,000 cases.
Meanwhile, Russian journalists (even they, yes) also noticed that the April mortality data for Moscow was 19% over the average.
Besides, questions arise over another reverberating issue.
Last week, in my piece "Coronavirus mortality among Russian medics reveals real picture across country," I noted that fatalities among Russian doctors exceed those among medics in Italy, where the general death toll is officially 10 times the Russian. In that article, I was guided by data on 113 Russian doctors who died from COVID-19. But today it's 160, which in percentage terms significantly exceeds the Italian indicators! That is, much more Russian doctors die of coronavirus in percentage terms than those in Italy, taking into account the overall mortality.
Meanwhile, from today in Russia, anti-virus restrictions are being eased. Instead of helping people financially, the Kremlin ... or, to be more precise, the residence in Novo-Ogaryovo (because Vladimir Putin never left his dacha premises from the very start of undeclared quarantine), lets the country out into a great wide plague swamp. Why not, right? After all, the country has not only "defeated" COVID-19 mortality, but also reached an incidence "plateau"! The thing is though that this plateau might as well become a grave footstone for tens of thousands of Russians.
Meanwhile, over the past day, 10,899 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Russia, bringing the total count to 232,243... A plateau? Or a footstone?