Damned Lies and Coronavirus Statistics
Coronavirus, lies and statistics&# 160;
Do Russian statistics reflect the true state of affairs in the country with&# 160; COVID-19?
In Russia, all regions, without exception, are on high alert due to the threat of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the media reported on Thursday, March 19. In this regard, schools and universities are transferred to distance learning, sports and other mass events are canceled..
Meanwhile, in the last day alone, 52 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the country. There has never been such a sharp jump – in Russia, according to official data, there are 199 infected, which is still much less than in many countries of the world..
As of March 19, not a single case of death as a result of a disease caused by coronavirus has been recognized in the Russian Federation. In the column “mortality” of the operational headquarters, monitoring the situation, everything is also “zero”, despite the death of a 79-year-old woman with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
The United States has reported more than 7,700 cases of coronavirus and at least 138 deaths. In Europe, the numbers are even more frightening. So, in Italy, the number of infected people exceeded 35 thousand, and the number of those who died came close to 3 thousand. The situation in Spain is not much better. The countries of Asia also suffered great damage. “This is war,” US President Donald Trump said during a daily briefing, comparing the fight against coronavirus with the measures taken during World War II and warned of impending nationwide casualties..
In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday tried to convince everyone that the official statistics on the spread of coronavirus in the country correspond to reality, and everything else is “fakes” and “stuffing” that should not be trusted. At the same time, the President assured that the authorities are not going to hide the truth about the scale of the disaster, but admitted that sometimes the authorities cannot have all the information due to objective and subjective circumstances..
Editor-in-chief of the online edition Insider Roman Dobrokhotov in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America, he noted that the journalists of his editorial office communicated on coronavirus topics with a variety of medical experts, virologists and other specialized specialists. Nevertheless, according to him, none of the interviewed experts assessed the measures of the Russian authorities to counter the virus as effective, and their methods of statistical assessment of what is happening as trustworthy..
“This is primarily due to the fact that Russia was organizationally completely unprepared to respond to the challenge properly,” he said. – There are many examples of how people themselves reported that they had been in contact with a carrier of the coronavirus and asked to be tested, but they were simply ignored and sent home to drink tea with raspberries. This continued until the very last days. Now, perhaps, something has changed. The question is – isn’t it too late? ”
This means that there is a huge number of citizens in the country – potential carriers of the infection, who were left to themselves, says Roman Dobrokhotov: “Some of them self-isolated, some did not. But in any case, they are not visible for statistics. It follows from this that, most likely, the current (official) figures are an order of magnitude underestimated, and in the coming weeks we will see confirmation of this in the form of a sharp jump in the number of cases. “.
It would be strange if in Russia, magically, everything suddenly turned out to be different than in the rest of the world, the journalist argues. In his opinion, there are no prerequisites for this..
“I think we need to mentally prepare ourselves for the fact that our numbers will correspond to the European ones. And here it is better to rely on ourselves, on our own responsibility, on the fact that people will not arrange mass entertainment events, go to bars, and, if possible, will try to work from home. This will at least reduce the rate at which the infection spreads. Unfortunately, there is no need to rely on the state, ”summed up Roman Dobrokhotov.
Director of the Institute for Health Economics, National Research University Higher School of Economics Larisa Popovich, on the contrary, he believes that Russian statistics reflect a more or less real picture of the coronavirus. “It’s just that, thank God, our borders were closed on time,” she argues in a commentary for the Russian service of the Voice of America. – Therefore, most of the detected cases of coronavirus infection are imported or resulting from contact with those who came from the lesions. So, the official data can be trusted “.
At the same time, Larisa Popovich admits that due to the asymptomatic infected, the number of infected in Russia may be higher. But at the same time, she focused on the fact that the country conducted “almost 140 thousand tests” for coronavirus.
“We are ahead of the same France in terms of the number of tests per hundred thousand of the population, according to WHO calculations. Russia (by this parameter) is generally ahead of many European countries, and the United States too. In fact, we are approaching the level of testing in South Korea, which did it almost totally in terms of one hundred thousand population. The testing system will now expand. We are used to scolding our medicine, but, fortunately, at least we cope with infections, ”the specialist concluded..