Coronavirus Numbers Rising Rapidly in Moscow, Major Russian Cities

Covid-19 Coronavirus file photo, adapted from image at cdc.gov

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 27, 2020)

Coronavirus infections are rising rapidly in Moscow and other major Russian cities, with the number of cases in the capital jumping from 1050 three days ago to more than 2,000 today, the result, experts say, of the start of flu season and declining caution among Russians (svpressa.ru/economy/article/276981/, kp.ru/daily/217187.5/4293934/, regnum.ru/news/3074643.html, and ura.news/news/1052451499).

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has recommended that an additional two million residents of the city go into self-isolation (rbc.ru/society/27/09/2020/5f702cbc9a794740c053cc91). But most analysts say that the Kremlin will do everything it can not to resume a general lockdown across the country.

The reason is simple: “a complete quarantine kills the economy more rapidly than it kills the coronavirus (ura.news/news/1052451503), and officials want to maintain a balance between saving lives and saving the economy (kp.ru/daily/217187.5/4293794/). But because falling incomes are lowering demand, restoring the economy will take “no less than three years,” economists say (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/80334 and krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/80322).

Outside the major cities, the pandemic continues to ebb and flow, with still more places being forced to restrict operations than re-open (regnum.ru/news/society/3070825.html). The country-wide daily figures remain dire: Today, the government reported 7867 new cases of infection and 99 additional deaths, bringing those totals respectively to 1,143,571 and 20,385 (стопкоронавирус.рф/).

An additional reason why the numbers may be increasing is that doctors have changed their view of how the coronavirus affects the body. They no longer see it as attacking only the lungs but attacking other organs as well and thus may be counting more infections and deaths than they were (business-gazeta.ru/article/482396).

Meanwhile, in other pandemic-related officials, Russian epidemiologists warned that public transport and small stores are the most dangerous places as far as the spread of the coronavirus is concerned (krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/80398), and government statistics showed that Russian imports had declined to 2007 levels (ura.news/news/1052451531).

[article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/09/coronavirus-numbers-rising-rapidly-in.html]