Russia Officially Passes One Million Coronavirus Infections Mark – An Understatement or a Marginal One?

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 1, 2020)

Russian officials reported registering 4729 new cases of coronavirus infection over the last 24 hours, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 1,000,048. They also said the number of new deaths equaled 123, bringing that toll to 17,299 (t.me/COVID2019_official/1403).

Passing a million officially registered cases has touched off a debate, with some saying official figures understates the total by million and others arguing one million is less than one percent of the population and not that bad (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2020/09/01/86914-epidemiya-bez-simptomov and versia.ru/virusolog-million-sluchaev-zarazheniya-koronavirusom-yeto-menee-1-naseleniya-rossii).

The pandemic continues to ebb and flow, with re-openings and re-closings still the order of the day (regnum.ru/news/society/3045839.html). The president of the Academy of Sciences says new infections may increase this fall (sobkorr.org/news/5F4E42268F11E.html). Meanwhile, Moscow officials say vaccinations will begin the Russian capital on September 5 (regnum.ru/news/3051291.html).

Schools reopened today, with most in face to face regime but some with distance learning. Officials suggested more might make the transition to the latter form if the epidemiological situation deteriorates, and a Duma deputy says mass closures are likely in the near future (regnum.ru/news/3050421.html, regnum.ru/news/3050753.html and regnum.ru/news/3050697.html).

Economists are predicting a serious rise in inflation beginning this month (capost.media/news/ekonomika/v-sentyabre-rossiyan-zhdyet-ocherednoy-rost-tsen/). More banks are taking losses but have sufficient reserves to ride out the crisis (asros.ru/upload/iblock/aa6/Sbornik-za-2-kv.pdf).

Moreover, new bank figures show that credit card usage and micro-loans are increasingly problem areas (rbc.ru/finances/02/09/2020/5f4e7c289a794783044fe3b4?from=from_main_1 and krizis-kopilka.ru/archives/79628).

[article also appeared at windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/09/russia-officially-passes-one-million.html]