The mayor of Moscow has warned that the coronavirus situation in Russia is far worse than what the country's official figures show, which appears to be an attempt by the Vladimir Putin-led regime to cover-up the crisis in the country.
Russian citizens are becoming increasingly frustrated with Putin as far as his response to the coronavirus pandemic is concerned. Critics of the government have raised doubts over the official COVID-19 death figures released by authorities and among them is the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, who claims the actual number of cases is significantly higher than what the officials are letting on.
Far more people affected than reported figures
Sobyanin said that a recent survey using improved testing methods revealed that the number was far higher than what was being reported. The survey suggested that at least two percent of the capital's citizens are now infected with COVID-19, which takes the city's total tally to 250,000 people, four times the number officially confirmed in Moscow.
"It is obvious that the threat is still growing," Sobyanin said on his personal website. "Once again I appeal to you, dear Muscovites, with a request to treat self-isolation measures as responsibly as possible."
Coronavirus crisis worsens in Russia
A surge in coronavirus cases in Russia has made it the seventh-most affected country in the world. According to official figures, the country has reported close to 135,000 infections and 1,280 deaths. Russia reported a significant jump of more than 10,000 cases on Sunday, the highest daily increase outside the United States.
However, if Sobyanin's comments are to be believed, the official count would take the state's total number of infections to 540,000 and deaths crossing the 5,100 mark. This would take Russia to second place with the highest number of infections after the US.
Russia appears to be struggling to contain the outbreak, with cases rapidly cropping up across the country. In the early phases of the pandemic, Russia appeared to have the virus under control but the situation has spiraled out of control in recent weeks amid what citizens are calling a chaotic response from authorities.
Pneumonia deaths not taken into account
Critics have pointed out that Russian authorities are not recording deaths due to pneumonia—which is often caused by the coronavirus—as COVID-19 fatalities. They claim that this does not reflect the reality of the actual crisis in the country.
As pointed out by The Algemeiner, the government statistics were being manipulated to conceal the spread of the coronavirus by attributing hospitalizations and deaths not to the pandemic but to pneumonia and other ailments.