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What's Wrong with Moscow Self-isolation?
April 22, 2020 11:44


Statistics on the spread of coronavirus in Moscow and data from other countries raise the question of how justified some of the strict quarantine restrictions introduced in Moscow to prevent COVID-19 infection are. Tthe experience of China, as well as a number of European countries, including Italy, shows: strict quarantine works. And this justifies the closure of most enterprises, and the ban on leaving the apartment, as well as the closure of parks, and the abandonment of sports. Everything can be endured to save hundreds, thousands and even millions of lives. In a recent column on, economist Andrei Movchan calculated that overloading the healthcare system due to coronavirus could cost the lives of 200 million people. And this is 3% of the world's population.

From the point of the severity of measures, Moscow gives odds to many states (although it does not call the
introduced regime  quarantine), according to the index calculated by the Blavatnik School of Management at Oxford University. A non-working month has been declared in Russia since the beginning of April, employees of most organizations have been sent to forced holidays. In Moscow and the Moscow Region, severe restrictions on the movement of citizens around the city have also been introduced. But are all these measures justified?

To answer this question, Forbes Russia  selected twenty countries according to the number of officially registered cases of COVID-19 as of April 15, 2020 according to WHO statistics and added  Sweden, Australia and Norway, which were in the top twenty earlier in April. Then they selected countries with simultaneously high mortality from coronavirus and an increase in the incidence rate (taking the average daily increase from April 1 to 15) and countries with both low indicators to study what restrictions they introduced to combat the epidemic.

Russia topped the list with the lowest mortality rate, but turned out to be the undisputed leader in terms of infection rate. The growth rate of newly infected in early April is 17% per day. In Moscow, the distribution rate is slightly lower - 16%.
Among countries with low mortality and prevalence was, for example, Australia. In early April, it was among the 20 countries with the largest number of detected coronavirus infected, but soon left the list. By April 15, the country had about 6,500 infected, and 61 dead people. How did they manage to achieve such numbers?

No quarantine was introduced in the country; authorities limited themselves to social distance. They didn't close:

  • Enterprises   
  • Hairdressing salons   
  • Shopping centers (they were only obliged to close food courts)   
  • Schools did not close centrally, but some states did.

Leaving home is not forbidden, although the government recommends doing this only to buy food, go to the doctor, play sports or work and study - if there is no way to work and study remotely. Police can be fined for not observing the social distance - 1.5 meters.

Norway only introduced social distance (6566 infected and 127 dead by April 15). Even milder were the restrictions in South Korea (10 591 infections, 225 dead).

It turns out that strict quarantine has at least no less effective, but more sparing alternatives for citizens and business. And if so, how justified is the continued tightening of nuts by the authorities of some Russian regions?

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: coronavirus Moscow Moscow region health  

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