Global COVID-19 death toll surpasses 3 million amid new infections resurgence
While Europe, especially France, Italy, Germany and Spain are increasingly being quarantined, taking into account the onset of the third and very serious wave of coronavirus disease, things in Russia, judging by official statistics, are not so bad, writes Alex Ivanov, Moscow correspondent.
In Moscow and other major cities of the country almost all severe restrictions have been lifted. Shopping centers, restaurants and cafes, theaters and cinemas are open, the streets of the cities are full of people. The only thing that the Russian authorities have not yet decided to cancel is the mask regime in places of mass gathering of people. But even this restriction seems to be nothing more than symbolic.
On average 8-9 thousand new cases of the disease are recorded per day in Russia, and the mortality rate remains low. Although the authorities admit that the past 2020 was a record year for an increase in mortality among the population. Experts and analysts partly attribute this problem to the COVID pandemic.
New cases of the disease are recorded in almost all regions of Russia. The «leaders” in the number of cases traditionally remain Moscow, the Moscow region and St. Petersburg.
The total number of people infected with coronavirus in Russia since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 4,554,264, of which 99,233 have died, and 4,176,419 have been cured.
Recently Deputy Minister of Health of Russia Tatyana Semenova noted that “the third wave is inevitable if a quarter of Russians do not receive the vaccine by May 2021”.
Indicators of the incidence of coronavirus in Russia show the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic, the Ministry of Health of Russia reported.
“Unfortunately, the second wave of coronavirus infection captured the beginning of 2021, and now the incidence and course of diseases allow us to talk about the third wave of coronavirus infection,” say officials of the Ministry
The peak of coronavirus incidence in Russia occurred in December 2020. Then the operational headquarters daily recorded from 26 thousand to 29 thousand new cases of infection. After the New Year, the incidence declined — by the end of January 2021 no more than 20 thousand cases per day were detected in the country. Since mid-March 8-9 thousand cases of infection have been recorded daily in Russia.
Virologist, professor of Moscow State University Alexey Agranovsky said that the next surge in the incidence may occur in the fall of 2021. He also said that he is not a supporter of the term “wave”, since ” the coronavirus behaves like a common acute respiratory viral disease.”
The head of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency, Veronika Skvortsova, said in early March 2021 that, according to modern mathematical models, “the third wave of COVID-19 is inevitable, if we do not take into account vaccination.” According to calculations, the wave should begin in May of this year, its peak will be in October 2021, she said. To avoid the third wave of coronavirus infection in Russia, it is necessary to vaccinate a quarter of the country’s population by May, Skvortsova said.
On February 20, the RBC news agency, based on the results of a survey of regional operational headquarters, reported that 3.23 million people — about 2.2% of the Russian population-were vaccinated against coronavirus in all Russian regions. The leaders in the share of vaccinated residents were Moscow, as well as the Sakhalin and Magadan regions. In Sakhalin, by February 18, more than 5.1% of residents (25 thousand people) received at least one dose of the vaccine, in Moscow — 4.73%, in the Magadan region-4.2%.
The authorities have adjusted their position on the development of the epidemic and vaccination several times. In December 2020, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said that a new phase of coronavirus in the country “probably require consideration of certain restrictions on the movement of individuals, including between regions, as well as sometimes within regions”. But after that, his assistant Alexey Kuznetsov clarified that the phrase of the Minister was taken out of context and he did not propose to introduce new restrictions.
In March 2021 Russian epidemiologists stated that repeated vaccination with Sputnik V may be excessive, since “the components of the vaccine will already be destroyed by those antibodies that can be stored in our body.”
Worldwide, according to WHO, there are 127.8 million cases of the disease. According to the calculations of Johns Hopkins University, the number exceeded 128.9 million. More than 2.8 million people have died.
The United States, Brazil, India and France were the most susceptible to infection. Russia is in the fifth place on the list. Next are the United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Germany.