Posted 20 сентября 2023,, 10:25

Published 20 сентября 2023,, 10:25

Modified 20 сентября 2023,, 13:05

Updated 20 сентября 2023,, 13:05

Question of the day: Will anti-covid measures and vaccination return to Russia?

Question of the day: Will anti-covid measures and vaccination return to Russia?

20 сентября 2023, 10:25
Ирина Мишина
Anti-covid measures in Russian regions may return to pandemic ones. Today, a mask regime for doctors has been announced, some schools have decided to transfer children to distance learning. In just a week, there were 45% more cases. What measures will the authorities decide on this time?

Irina Mishina

Involuntarily, I remember the covid times when we watched the information update on the stopcoronavirus portal every day.the Russian Federation, where statistics on cases of infection, hospitalizations and deaths were published. This resource is still working now.

There is only one good news so far: the new strain has a low mortality rate

Judging by the latest data, during the week from September 11 to September 17, the most cases of coronavirus infection in Moscow were 4,617. 590 people were hospitalized. Then there are St. Petersburg, Krasnodar Krai and Sverdlovsk region. And in total, 11,516 cases of coronavirus were detected in Russia during the week, 14 people died.

To contribute to the increase in morbidity, the appearance in Russia has a new strain of coronavirus VA.2.86 «pirola». This is another kind of «omicron». Rospotrebnadzor warns that this variant is more contagious than its omicron predecessors. However, the press service of Rospotrebnadzor is in a hurry to reassure people:

«The first results of laboratory studies conducted in China and Sweden indicate that this variant may not be as contagious and is not as capable of evading immune protection as it was previously stated by some scientists, and is not considered as the „second coming of omicron.“

«There is nothing special about the pirol strain. From the point of view of the clinic and the severity of the disease, it is not as dangerous as other strains of coronavirus. Increased mortality in patients with „pirola“ has not yet been revealed, mortality is somewhere at the level of 0.3- 0,5%. It mainly affects elderly people and those who have chronic diseases. Children get sick with new strains of covid very quickly, but they carry it quite easily, but at the same time they infect adults, so restrictive measures among children are justified, » said Anatoly Alshtein, MD, a well—known Russian virologist.

«Everyone will be sick, just like with Omicron. And they have been sick for a long time. Complications are not known, the strain is new, » says infectious disease specialist, pediatrician Evgeny Timakov.


Is distance learning of schoolchildren returning?

Children in Russian regions are indeed gradually being transferred to distance learning. It is reported that schools are massively quarantined, entire settlements are transferring children to remote control.

According to our data, schoolchildren from the Komi Republic, KhMAO, Murmansk and Tomsk region was sent for distance learning. In Ugra, 19 schools have already been closed and 62 classes have been put on online lessons. In other areas, educational institutions are closed selectively, at the discretion of the management. To return to class after the restrictions are lifted, students will need a certificate stating that they do not have ARVI.

Several schools were quarantined in the Tyumen Region, and one school was quarantined in the Kurgan Region. 17 school classes were quarantined for acute respiratory viral infections and influenza in Yekaterinburg, 5 — inOrenburg, one in Novosibirsk and Voronezh.

In Altai, 6 schools have been quarantined. 328 classes, in which the rise in morbidity has crossed the threshold of 20%, have switched to distance learning in the Altai Territory.

From the Kaluga region, it is reported that in just a week the incidence of SARS and influenza increased there by 11,4%. There are many cases in St. Petersburg. Moreover, the sick children were there, according to their parents, already on September 1.

There are no quarantined classes in Moscow yet. But the overall rise in the number of diseases, viral and colds, is significant. Although the «Indian summer» is still in full swing, the children are sick. In September, influenza vaccination was carried out in schools of the capital. Children's polyclinics in Moscow have switched to an enhanced mode of operation, even on weekends they receive children from 8.00 to 20.00. The correspondent of «NI» was convinced of this herself: last Saturday, for example, it was possible to get to the pediatrician without problems and queues. There are ads in polyclinics: «If you see the first symptoms of the disease in a child (runny nose, cough, fever and fatigue), you can contact the pediatrician on duty without an appointment, without postponing the visit until Monday.» But so far we have not noticed long queues to pediatricians on duty in Moscow polyclinics.


Do we face a total transition to remote, mask mode and vaccination?

Today it is known for sure that health care has affected top-ranking officials: since September 18, a mask regime has been introduced in the government house, internal contacts between employees are limited, and the number of domestic and foreign business trips has been reduced. Since September 20, the mask regime has been introduced in the Ministry of Finance.

The covid hospital resumed its work in Sokolniki on September 19: the rate of morbidity growth in Moscow exceeds the all-Russian ones. This is understandable: over the last week, the incidence increased by 52%, over the previous week — by 63,7%.

Following Moscow has introduced a mask regime for doctors in the regions. According to our data, medical staff in the Chelyabinsk, Kaluga, Tula, Saratov, Volgograd, Vladimir, Penza, Novosibirsk, Pskov, Kursk, Tyumen regions and Perm Krai, as well as in the KhMAO, will again receive and advise you exclusively in a mask. For patients, these restrictions are still only advisory in nature.

According to pediatrician Yevgeny Timakov, it does not make sense to transfer children en masse to remote control yet: the surge in morbidity is still ahead, because this year other «infections» have joined the covid. For example, an epidemic of acute respiratory viral infections and influenza has raged — doctors attribute this to the weakening of the body's immune defenses after covid. Outbreaks of measles have been added to the influenza threat in some regions, as in the Nizhny Novgorod region and Tatarstan.

«People came out of vacations en masse, schoolchildren went to study, there are a huge number of people in the subway. Such a number of contacts gave a surge in morbidity. Plus, this year there is a very „evil“ rhinovirus infection, „walking“ and the causative agent of severe angina — streptococcus. There is indeed a rise in the incidence now, but the peak will be a little later, by November — December. Until then, the incidence will be increasing. In this regard, it is not worth abandoning the mask regime, » says Nikolai Malyshev, MD, former chief infectious disease specialist in Moscow.

A well-known virologist, Professor Anatoly Alshtein also suggested in a conversation with NI that there would be no total restrictions this season.

«If they recommend wearing masks now, that's right. There will be no forced vaccination, because the old vaccines are already outdated. The new vaccine, which will act in relation to new strains, is already in Russia has it, it is manufactured, but so far there are problems with financing its production. In general, after the end of the pandemic was announced on May 6, people continued to get sick, » virologist Anatoly Alshtein told NI.

We asked Anatoly Davydovich a question: can WHO declare a coronavirus pandemic again?

— It is unlikely that this will happen. The maximum that will happen is distance learning in schools and mandatory mask mode.