Russia indirectly admits three times the number of corona deaths

Updated December 29, 2020, 3:43 pm

  • Russia has the fourth most corona infected people worldwide.
  • By contrast, the number of those who died from or with the virus was relatively low by international comparison.
  • Now Russia has drastically corrected its corona casualty record upwards: from 56,000 to 186,000 deaths.

You can find more current information on the coronavirus here

Russia’s Vice Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova must have been well aware of the effect of her words. “More than 81 percent of the increase in mortality during this period is due to COVID-19,” she said on Monday, according to Russian news outlets.

Golikova refers to the figures published on the same day by the Russian statistical office: According to this, around 229,700 more people have died since the beginning of the year than in the same period last year, which is one Excess mortality of almost 14 percent corresponds.

Based on Golikova’s statements, there was more than 186,000 corona deaths in Russia since the beginning of the year. Russia has thus drastically corrected the number of its corona deaths upwards – without having officially announced it yet. But the fact is: Only in the USA with more than 330,000 deaths and Brazil with more than 190,000 deaths were more victims of the pandemic registered than in Russia.

More than three million infected people – but only 56,000 corona deaths?

In November alone, 25,788 people died from or with the coronavirus in Russia. In a further 9,857 deceased, COVID-19 was “a concomitant disease, but had no effect on death,” according to a recent statement from the Russian statistics agency Rosstat. Compared to the same month last year, the Excess mortality in November nearly 56 percent higher.

“StopCoronavirus.rf”, the official information page of the Russian government, only reported the number of 55,827 corona deaths since the start of the pandemic – with 3,105,037 people who tested positive, the fourth highest number worldwide. Experts even assume that the number is six times as high because many diseases have remained undetected or people have not gone to the doctor. How does this all come together?

Also read: All current information about the corona pandemic in our live blog

First Russian corona victim officially died of thrombosis

The Russian government only shows those cases in its figures in which COVID-19 as the cause of death is called. The statistical office, however, also lists cases in which COVID-19 was one of several diseases and the person might have died without infection. These figures are not widely communicated: for example, the American Johns Hopkins University only shows government figures in its worldwide list.

Our editorial team had already reported on discrepancies and the unusually low number of deaths in May. The very small number by international comparison made observers puzzled even then.

Doctors say other causes of death are listed on death certificates, such as pneumonia or heart attacks. This was also the case with Russia’s first corona death on March 19: First it was said that the 79-year-old woman from Moscow had died of COVID-19. The authorities later stated the woman died not of pneumonia but of thrombosis.

The Russian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Consumer Protection would falsify the coronavirus figures, demographer Alexey Raksha told AFP news agency last week. Raksha worked for the Rosstat statistics agency until July. According to him, in many regions the registry offices would no longer be able to issue death certificates and forward the data.

For the Russian authorities, the comparatively low official number of victims is one Proof that their strategy against the virus is successful is.

Little confidence in Russian vaccine

Russia is currently battling a second wave of pandemics. However, out of consideration for the economy, the government wants to avoid another lockdown. In the fight against the pandemic, she relies on the Russian corona vaccine Sputnik V.

The authorities have not yet disclosed how many people in Russia have already been vaccinated. The vaccine developer, the state-run Gamaleya Research Institute, announced on Monday that around 700,000 doses have been shipped so far.

According to a new poll by the Levada opinion research institute 58 percent of Russians reject a corona vaccination. Only 38 percent are ready for it. The vaccinations have been running since the beginning of the month, Sputnik V was released in mid-August – but the vaccine has not yet been tested.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on state television on Sunday: President Vladimir Putin will be vaccinated. Peskow did not name a point in time. “He’s waiting for all the paperwork to be done.”

Sources used:

  • Reports from the news agencies dpa and AFP.
  • The Guardian: “Russia admits to world’s third-worst Covid-19 death toll”
  • Coronavirus website of the Russian government: Стопкоронавирус.рф
  • Communication from the Russian statistics agency Rosstat
  • Alexey Raksha’s Facebook page

The Christmas lights in A Coruña, Spain, are causing discussions on social networks: Because parts of the decoration in the streets of the port city in the far north-west of the country have a design that is suspiciously reminiscent of the corona virus.

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