Russia coronavirus cover-up conspiracy: Putin’s secrecy on real number of cases questioned

Speaking to Francis, a British ex-pat in Moscow, Russia, TalkRADIO host Mike Graham questioned the veracity of Vladimir Putin’s Government as despite Europe being the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, Russia only confirmed 495 COVID-19 cases. The radio host asked: “I don’t wish to cast suspicion on the Russian Government, but are they correct when they say that they only had a couple of dozen cases?”

The British ex-pat replied: “It’s up to 495 now, which is still a lot lower than what we’re seeing in most of Europe.

“I think rather than people doubting whether the Russian authorities are telling the truth, it’s more of a case of concerns over the sensitivity of tests.

“And whether people are prepared to actually go to hospitals and get themselves checked.”

Russia has confirmed 495 coronavirus-positive cases – and its first death on Monday.

The Russian authorities say the victim, a 79-year-old woman, already had pre-existing health conditions.

The new cases are spread across 23 regions in Russia, according to Russian consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor.

The bulk of Russia’s cases lie in Moscow, with 98 people infected in the capital city.

Medical experts around the world have questioned whether Russia’s official numbers, which are significantly lower than close-by European countries, reflect reality.

Natalia Krapiva, legal counsel for Access Now, an international non-profit humans rights organisation, said that observers had “serious doubts” on whether the figures released by the Kremlin were true.

Ms Krapiva said people were being to speculate and question why Russia had managed to avoid the hit taken by others.

She told Coda Story: “We are closely following public discourse, and I noticed that serious doubts are surfacing about how realistic the numbers are.

“These doubts have grown over the past few days, turning into open distrust, because people are seeing what is happening in Europe and connecting it to the fact that in Russia doctors are suddenly reporting a big increase in pneumonia cases.”

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Doctors in Russia, who chose to stay anonymous, told Coda Story how the conditions in hospitals had seriously deteriorated.

One staff member at Mukhin State Hospital in the suburbs of Moscow said there is a massive shortage of supplies.

She said: “You can’t imagine what is happening.

“We don’t even have gloves sometimes, let alone face masks. We are sterilising disposable equipment.”

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