Covid-19: Russia caught up by the pandemic, with 1,000 deaths per day

After practically a year spent in an alternate reality in which the Covid pandemic – would have been mysteriously canceled, Russia, bereaved by more than a thousand daily deaths due to the virus, is preparing, in dispersed order, to reintroduce travel restrictions.

On Tuesday, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of health issues Tatiana Golikova proposed the implementation place of “non-worked weeks” from 30 October to 7 November. The formula is not new: it dates back to the spring 2020, during the first, and to this last day, Russian confinement. Vladimir Poutine then decreed several “non-working weeks with salary maintenance”. “It’s a Russian specialty,” writes political scientist Tatiana Stanovaïa.

“The difference with normal confinement is that in confinement, it is the State which is responsible and which must compensate for the losses of temporarily closed businesses. The weeks not worked amount to transferring the responsibility to the companies. The state sends everyone home, and the companies make do with the losses. ”

In fact, only large companies, often owned by the state, have fairly strong backs. to obey the provisions of this decree. The others, SMEs in the lead, go out of business, stop paying all or part of their salaries … or ignore it completely.

A symptomatic situation of the way the Russian government manages the pandemic: with minimalist measures, so as not to endanger a faltering economy, without spending public money … and without real long-term vision.

A vaccination rate too low

While, since the fall 2020, the second wave was wreaking havoc in the Russian province, the government claimed to have “conquered the Covid »And seemed to bet everything on the vaccination of the population. But the vaccination campaign was cut short, due to a lack of volunteers.

The Russians do not trust the national Sputnik V vaccine: to date, alone 32% of the Russian population is fully vaccinated. In the summer 2021, faced with the spectacular increase in the number of cases, several regions, including the capital Moscow, had implemented restrictive measures, in particular a health pass … before the central power canceled after a few weeks these measures, too unpopular while legislative elections were looming in September.

The current terrible human toll is the direct result of this inconsistent policy. Today it is forcing the Russian authorities to take a new turn at 180 degrees, with new restrictive measures.

In addition to the “non-working weeks” , the Saint Petersburg region has announced the establishment of a health pass.

In Moscow, selective containment will concern, 25 October to 25 February 2022, only people over 60 years old or suffering from chronic illnesses. “By dint of ostrich and not respecting the rules …” grumbled a Muscovite. This is called getting caught up in reality.

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