“No complaints”: WHO explained statement on coronavirus mortality statistics in the Russian Federation

“No complaints”: WHO explained statement on coronavirus mortality statistics in the Russian Federation

12 June 2020, 12:14SocietyPhoto: ТАСС
The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Russia, Melita Vujnovich, indicated that the words of Michael Ryan, director of the WHO health emergency program, about “difficult to understand” statistics on mortality in the Russian Federation from coronavirus by his personal opinion.

Recall that Michael Ryan previously indicated that Russia needs to evaluate how death certification from COVID-19 is carried out.

- It is certainly unusual that the number of deaths in relation to confirmed patients is so low. But then again, many tests were conducted in Russia, they very quickly increased the number of tests. So we see when the number of tests increases, mortality decreases. But it will be important for Russia to evaluate how death certification from COVID-19 is carried out, to be sure that it is done accurately and properly, Ryan said , noting that the mortality statistics from the new coronavirus that are observed in Russia are "Difficult to understand."

Melita Vunovich, in turn, stated that this is not the official position of the entire organization, but the colleague’s own judgment.

- Dr. Ryan showed the vast idea that he is not a statistician, he does not have experience in this field of expertise, and simply said his opinion. But the opinion of WHO is such that there are no complaints [against Russia], the expert said in an interview with Business FM.

But she also noted that Russian indicators of the number of deaths from a new coronavirus infection are really "unusually" low.

- This is not such a standard situation. But of these factors, it is very important to note that the enormous testing opportunities in the country allowed Russia to have a very good picture of understanding what is happening with the epidemic, she said.

According to the representative of WHO, now the organization pays attention only to statistics, and other factors will be considered later. According to her, this approach has become the reason that in one country the mortality rate is higher, and in another - lower. However, she agrees that Russia has accepted and complies with WHO guidelines for the application of the international classification of the disease in relation to mortality. For example, a large number of autopsies are performed in the Russian Federation, in almost 100% of cases, and this helps to more accurately determine whether the coronavirus was the cause of death.

“In no case does WHO have any claims against the Russian Federation with regard to mortality statistics,” concluded Vujnovic.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that Russia does not manipulate data on coronavirus, and the low mortality rate is due to high detection.

A spokesman for the Russian president Dmitry Peskov suggested “to think about the fact that Russia has a more efficient healthcare system,” which makes it possible “so that more people survive.”

To date, Russia has identified 502,436 cases of new coronavirus infection. 6 532 patients died from the disease.

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