Mystery shrouds the death of a couple of Russian doctors who fell to their deaths from their hospital windows in a span of 10 days. While three doctors fell under mysterious circumstances, two have died. They had the 'mysterious fall' soon after they raised voice against shortage of protective clothing and working conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Russia, which is notoriously known for eliminating its critics, has so far reported 134,687 coronavirus infected cases and 1,280 deaths due to the fatal virus.
Third victim was made to work despite testing positive
Days after Dr Alexander Shulepov raised his voice against being forced to work despite testing positive for coronavirus, he plunged from the second-floor window of Novousmanskaya hospital located in western Russia. Shulepov suffered massive injuries including a skull fracture.
On April 22, Shulepov along with his colleague Dr Alexander Kosyakin, an ambulance doctor, had posted a video on social media, complaining about chief doctor Igor Potanin, the head of the Novousmanskaya hospital.
The doctors said that he was being forced to work despite being tested positive for Covid-19. "The chief doctor is forcing us to work. What do we do in this situation?" Shulepov said in the video. Three days later, in a video Shulepov, appearing with Potanin, backtracked from his rant stating that he was 'overwhelmed by emotions after knowing his test results.'
Speaking to CNN, Kosyakin revealed that Shulepov remains in critical condition. "Shulepov is [in] an intensive care unit, as far as I know in a serious condition, last time I spoke to him was on the 30th of April, we checked in with each other. He felt fine, he was getting ready to get discharged from the hospital ... and all of a sudden this happened, it's not clear why and what for, so many questions that I don't even have the answer to."
According to The Moscow Times, Kosyakin reportedly faces criminal charges for spreading "fake news" about the virus, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years under a recently passed federal law.
Two doctors who raised their voices are dead
Dr Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, the acting chief physician at a hospital for war veterans located in Krasnoyarsk, succumbed to her injuries on May 1. The doctor had sustained critical injuries after falling off from her fifth-floor office window on April 25.
BuzzFeed News reported that the 47-year-old doctor fell from her window soon after she raised concerns about one of her hospital buildings being converted into a ward for coronavirus patients, during a conference call with the regional health minister Boris Nemik. Just a few days ago, Nepomnyashchaya had also lodged a formal complaint regarding the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the staff members at the hospital.
On April 24, Dr Natalya Lebedeva, chief of the ambulance center in Zvyozdny near Moscow, died after falling off from a high window. In a statement released by the hospital authorities, the death of the 48-year-old doctor was described 'as a result of an accident.' She was also tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to Moskovsky Komsomolets and REN TV, Lebedeva's colleagues said that she was being accused by her superiors of infecting several colleagues with the coronavirus. According to the media outlets, Lebedeva's colleagues believed that she committed suicide by jumping off the window.