The one who is afraid - is sitting: what the new measures to combat coronavirus do mean

The one who is afraid - is sitting: what the new measures to combat coronavirus do mean
The one who is afraid - is sitting: what the new measures to combat coronavirus do mean
25 September 2020, 17:00Society
By the decree of the mayor of Moscow, restrictive measures are again introduced in the capital in connection with the coronavirus. From September 28, people over 65 and people from the "risk group" are advised not to leave their homes.

The heads of the enterprises were called upon to transfer the maximum number of employees to "remote control". What awaits us in the near future?

Irina Mishina

The Moscow old people need to stay at home again. Transfer to "remote" work is this time in the nature of a recommendation. “It is not planned to introduce more serious restrictions due to the increase in the number of new cases of coronavirus infection”, - said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian President.

Over the past weeks, the alarming "curve" of the incidence of coronavirus has changed for the worse. “I know that it was planned to transfer schoolchildren to distance learning from September 20. That is, restrictive measures were being prepared. Theoretically, it would be correct: whoever is afraid of getting sick, let him stay at home”, - said Anastasia Vasilyeva, the head of the medical workers' trade union Alliance of Doctors.

We were reassured for a long time both in Rospotrebnadzor and in the Kremlin, but the situation of today, apparently, has become a turning point. Over the past day in Russia, confirmed cases of a new coronavirus infection COVID-19 - 7212 in 84 regions. Most of all new cases were registered in Moscow (1560). Most of the deaths in connection with the coronavirus were recorded in Moscow (14) and St. Petersburg (19).

Can we talk about a second wave of coronavirus? Will we expect tougher measures in the form of a transfer to access control and distance learning for schoolchildren? In general, how serious is it? With these questions "NI" contacted the Moscow Department of Health. Here's what they answered:

Recently, an increase in new cases of coronavirus has been recorded in Moscow. Moreover, if you look at other European capitals, the situation there is somewhat worse. In Madrid, Vienna, Amsterdam and other cities, the number of new cases is significantly higher than in the spring. New peaks were recorded in these cities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Moscow has been able to accumulate experience in the fight against coronavirus. A significant reserve of bed capacity has been created in the capital. Moscow begins to introduce reserve capacities that were mothballed and reserved specifically for infections and were not used to provide other types of medical care, as well as facilities that were used as observers. At the same time, planned and emergency assistance will be provided in full”, - the Moscow Healthcare Department assured us.

However, the tightening of anti-epidemic measures has caused a lot of rumors and speculation. Many people ask the question: is this really the "second wave" that doctors have mentioned from time to time? "The coronavirus pandemic has not gone anywhere, but there is no second wave. The epidemic curve, the epidemic process is developing as a continuation of the first wave", - said Alexander Gorelov, deputy director for research at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor . He also noted that an unusual situation has developed: the epidemic processes of influenza and coronavirus infection can overlap. "Although the scenario is not fully known: they will strengthen each other - influenza and coronavirus, they will not notice each other or weaken each other. Time will tell", - the representative of Rospotrebnadzor explained.

Doctors also believe that seasonal colds largely supplemented the unfavorable picture.

“In my opinion, the measures introduced are a fight against fear. They are rather "sedative", so to speak. It is easier to introduce restrictive measures against the backdrop of an outbreak of panic over the growth of statistics of Covid-19 cases than to overload hospitals with those who get there with an unclear diagnosis: either a seasonal cold or a coronavirus. Polyclinics are already overloaded, and this creates an unpleasant epidemiological background in Moscow. But this time of year, people are always sick. Diagnosis of coronavirus has now improved significantly, so in each case, tests should show what a person is sick with. Those who stay at home are less likely to get sick. For my part, I support these measures, they are necessary and timely", - said the head of the Alliance of Doctors, Anastasia Vasilyeva, to Novye Izvestia.

On the other hand, some experts note that panic has been fueled in the media recently over the threat of a second wave of coronavirus and its possible consequences. “We have practically ready an examination, which was carried out by a whole group of specialists - doctors, economists, political scientists. They believe that the coronavirus panic is now being created unnecessarily. And how do you rate this fact: during the COVID epidemic, the growth in mortality from other diseases and from other causes has tripled! Sooner or later, someone must answer for this. In general, there are many strange facts associated with the coronavirus. For example, COVID-19 was included by the Russian government on the list of especially dangerous diseases along with HIV, tuberculosis, smallpox, typhus and other dangerous ailments on January 31 - shortly after Mikhail Mishustin took office as prime minister. At the same time, we all remember well that the first patients with coronavirus appeared in Russia only in early March. On January 31, we knew only about people with covid in China, ”said Alexander Saversky, president of the All-Russian League for the Defense of Patients' Rights, to Novye Izvestia. - Now we run into the statistics of the incidence of coronavirus. Did you know that Rospotrebnadzor records about 1 million seasonal SARS in Russia per week? For some reason, official sources are silent about this. Coronavirus deaths are not very different from flu deaths. In general, there are many mysteries and questions in this whole story with the stirring up of fear about the pandemic, ”says Alexander Saversky.

Despite the alarming news, our source in the Moscow mayor's office said that the authorities did not plan to "close the economy either now or since October". Nevertheless, today the first deputy head of the press service of the capital's mayor, Boris Bulay, said that Sergei Sobyanin would ask the city's largest companies to transfer their employees to "remote work". He stressed that this is being done "to reduce contacts and people's safety".

How will the economy react to this? This question is one of the most painful. Russia's weekly losses due to self-isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic are estimated at 270 billion rubles during the period of federal restrictions from late March to May 10, 2020. According to analysts, after a period of self-isolation, Russians sharply reduced the number of purchases (it fell by more than 30%). In addition, the average business revenue fell 36 percent. Experts note that after the cancellation of the non-working days and other federal restrictions, the indicators began to recover, but they are still much lower than before the pandemic. How much will the Russian economy lose from the current restrictive measures?

“I consider the proposal of the mayor to transfer most of the employees to“ remote work ”as senseless. That which is not remote cannot go to “remote control”. Restaurants, for example, will not be able to work remotely. Cars cannot be remotely assembled. Bake bread too. The mayor addresses the heads of enterprises, not realizing that the reality has changed long ago. The work of the enterprise is now determined not by the boss in the chair, but by the client, the customer, the consumer. If it is not convenient for the client, no one will close anything and transfer it to remote control. In my opinion, now, since the measures are advisory in nature and everyone has counted the losses from the spring "self-isolation", most enterprises will ignore Sobyanin's recommendation. Because who will pay for "remote"? The mayor, the Moscow government will definitely not pay anything. Yes, they can give loans and provide symbolic assistance. But who and with what will then pay off these loans, if clients and consumers are lost?", - economist Dmitry Potapenko told Novye Izvestia.

Let us recall: earlier, the Ministry of Finance estimated the losses of the Russian budget from the pandemic. According to the deputy head of this department, Vladimir Kolychev, the treasury lost more than a trillion rubles from restrictive measures and “remote work”.

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