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12 Dec, 2020 13:26

Russian health watchdog says Covid-19 triggers process of ‘natural selection’ as deaths among elderly and infirm peak

Russian health watchdog says Covid-19 triggers process of ‘natural selection’ as deaths among elderly and infirm peak

An official in charge of protecting the rights of Russian hospital patients has bemoaned that Russia, like the rest of Europe, has chosen “miserable quarantine” as a solution to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maxim Starodubtsev, head of the ‘Health Care’ public protection watchdog, told journalists on Saturday that the healthcare system was struggling to deal with the rise in cases. “In such a situation, natural selection is turned on. That is, patients die - the elderly, those who, in principle, are susceptible to the most severe course of Covid, and chronic patients [with other conditions] who cannot receive effective medical care because hospitals are busy with coronavirus.”

He argued that China’s approach of locking down entire metropolises if even a few cases are found was the “most humane,” but that the approach of many other countries has just been to wait until the development of immunity in the population.

Also on rt.com UK’s AstraZeneca to team up with creators of Russia’s Sputnik V on Covid-19 vaccine trials, cites potential 'wider protection'

Russia’s death toll from the virus reached a new high on Friday, with 601 fatalities officially recorded in the 24 hours prior. As the number of positive tests rises as well, Moscow authorities have been racing to deploy Sputnik V, the world’s first registered vaccine against Covid-19.

Last week, immunization centers opened in Moscow, offering the jab to healthcare workers and teachers, but in practice it seems that many people have been able to access it regardless of their occupation. Participants sign up online and then attend one of 70 specialist clinics. The formula must first be thawed from the freezer before it can be injected, and the whole process takes just under an hour. Two shots are required, with the second taken 21 days after the first.

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