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Binibilang ng Russia ang halaga ng mga maling hakbang at pagtanggi sa bakuna habang patuloy na tumataas ang COVID tide

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Ambulance attendant Roman Stebakov has come face-to-face with COVID-19 many times – but he’d rather take his chances with the disease than get himself injected with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, isulat sina Anton Zverev, Angelina Kazakova, Gleb Stolyarov, Mark Trevelyan, Polina Nikolskaya at Maxim Shemetov.

“I won’t get vaccinated until, I don’t know, they break me and vaccinate me by force. I don’t see the point in it, there are no guarantees it’s safe,” says the paramedic from Oryol, 300 km (185 miles) south of Moscow.

Outside one of the city’s hospitals, a young woman, Alina, is clutching a bunch of papers certifying her grandmother’s death. The old woman was unvaccinated and died of COVID-19 three weeks after being admitted.

But despite her loss, Alina, 26, says she won’t take the vaccine because she has heard too many scare stories.

“There’s not enough data, not enough checks.”

Their attitudes help explain why the first nation in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine – and then export it to more than 70 countries – is struggling to inoculate its own population and has racked up record 24-hour death tolls on 21 days in the past month.

Sa mga pakikipag-usap sa Reuters, ang mga doktor at opisyal ay nag-reel ng maraming mga kadahilanan na nagpakain sa pagkalat ng sakit at pinilit ang Russia na bumalik sa pinakamahigpit na mga paghihigpit nito mula noong mga unang buwan ng pandemya. magbasa nang higit pa

anunsyo

Besides vaccine hesitancy, they cited mixed messaging from the authorities, inconsistent policies, unreliable statistics and attempts to shift responsibility away from Moscow and on to the leaders of Russia’s republics and regions.

Ang ministeryo sa kalusugan ay hindi kaagad tumugon sa isang kahilingan para sa komento para sa kuwentong ito.

NAGHIHINTAY SA MGA AMBULANSYA

At Oryol’s Botkin Hospital, chief physician Alexander Lyalyukhin traced the origin of the latest and most virulent COVID wave to three weeks after the start of the school year in September. At that point some Russian regions sent students home for remote learning. Oryol, like most others, kept schools open.

Ang ospital ay kulang sa mga anesthesist at mga espesyalista sa nakakahawang sakit. Karamihan sa mga pasyente ng COVID ay nangangailangan ng suporta sa oxygen at masikip ang supply.

“Perhaps because the virus is more aggressive. We sometimes have fewer patients than there were in winter, but they consume more oxygen, by about a third,” Lyalyukhin said.

Sinabi ng ambulance paramedic na si Dmitry Seregin na ang mga pasyente ay karaniwang naghihintay ng ilang oras sa mga ambulansya.

“The healthcare system cannot withstand such an influx. This wave is more than twice as strong in terms of the number of cases and the severity of the disease,” he said.

Si Vladimir Nikolayev, deputy head ng regional health department, ay nagsabi sa Reuters na mayroon pa ring mga magagamit na kama at ang mga pasyente na nangangailangan ng oxygen ay nakakakuha nito.

“Unfortunately, if we’d carried out active vaccination we might not be in this situation,” he said.

What Oryol is experiencing is typical of the country as a whole. The latest official figures on Monday showed the region ranked 40th out of Russia’s 85 territories for new cases, with 326 in the previous 24 hours, and five new deaths.

Noong nakaraang linggo, halos 38% ng mga tao sa Oryol ang na-inject ng kanilang unang dosis, kumpara sa 39.4% sa buong bansa.

In Seregin’s view, the low rates are down to official miscommunication about the vaccine. At first authorities said the injection would be good for two years, then they told people it would need renewing after six months, he said.

“Statements appear with different information from the very same people, and these make people distrustful of the state.”

A source who previously worked in the COVID operations centre of one of Russia’s regions said the country had locked down early at the start of the pandemic but then blundered by declaring victory too soon and going ahead with a national referendum in June 2020 on constitutional changes to allow President Vladimir Putin to run for potentially two more terms in office.

“We kind of drew a line on the coronavirus, vaccinations, masks and all the rest of it. And now we have what we have – an insane mountain of corpses,” the source said.

HINDI MAAASAHAN DATA

Official figures on the pandemic’s toll vary widely.

Noong Lunes, ang pinagsama-samang pagkamatay ay nasa 239,693, ayon sa pambansang coronavirus task force. Inilalagay ng tanggapan ng istatistika ng estado ang bilang na halos dalawang beses na mas mataas magbasa nang higit pa , sa humigit-kumulang 462,000 sa pagitan ng Abril 2020 at Setyembre 2021, habang kinalkula ng Reuters na ang bilang ng labis na pagkamatay sa Russia sa parehong panahon ay higit sa 632,000 kumpara sa average na rate ng namamatay noong 2015-2019.

Ang ilang mga eksperto ay nagsasabi na ang hindi pag-uulat ng mga pagkamatay ay naging dahilan upang maging kampante ang mga tao.

“People think what’s the point of me running away from it if it’s no more scary than the flu,” said Elena Shuraeva, head of the Oryol doctor’s trade union.

Her husband Aleksei Timoshenko, a doctor at the COVID hospital, said the picture he sees at work was 6-7 times worse than implied by official figures. “And now people are afraid, they really see that many are getting sick and many are dying,” he said.

Ang lahat ng ito ay nag-iiwan ng dilemma para kay Putin, na paulit-ulit na hinimok ang mga tao na magpabakuna ngunit sinabi noong nakaraang buwan na kahit ang ilan sa kanyang sariling mga kaibigan ay naantala ang paggawa nito.

A source close to the Kremlin said there was evidence that the latest restrictions – which include a nationwide workplace shutdown this week and increasing requirements for people to prove their vaccine status to get access to certain venues – was prompting an increase in take-up. Oryol’s governor Andrei Klychkov said people were being vaccinated three times faster than before.

The source close to the Kremlin said compulsory vaccination was out of the question because it would rebound on the government. “It will be seen as an attack on freedom. And that, you know, could be like a powder keg.”

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