Information about the situation with the spread of coronavirus in the territory of Donbas occupied by Russia is contradictory. For example, one of the adherents of the Russian Spring in Luhansk, former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada from the Communist Party Spiridon Kilinkarov confusedly stated on the air with Russian propagandist Solovyov in October last year that the death rate in the so-called "LNR" due to COVID-19 increased by three times (!). At the same time, the ex-People's Deputy equated the diagnoses "covid" and "pneumonia".
"Epidemic is there. Pneumonia is there. There are no medicines, there are no doctors… When we discuss that there is a vaccine, etc., – we need to make a decision on something… Let the Russians take offense at me, but we are obliged to do something for these people. Well, at least, to send some group of experts there… Hospitals are closed with this covid. Relatives cannot get to the hospital. The number of deaths increased by three times. The only business that thrives is providing funeral services. It has tripled! "
In turn, a month later, in November 2020, the so-called "Minister" of Foreign Affairs of the DNR Natalia Nikanorova assured in an interview with the Klymenko Time telegram channel that "The incidence situation on the territory of the DNR is stable… And the number of cases is not growing. We have a plateau. Yes, there are detected cases of the disease every day, but it is approximately at the same level…". Nikanorova did not say what the level of this "plateau" was, but, according to her, "medical institutions are coping with the current situation".
There is no reason to believe that the situation with COVID-19 in the occupied parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts is very different. Therefore, Nikanorova's poor assurances clearly fall into dissonance with Kilinkarov's hysterical statement.
Plus head of the Luhansk regional administration Serhiy Haidai, speaking of the residents of CALO crossing the checkpoint, stated in mid-December: "Out of 10 people who cross into our territory, 7-8 are positive".
The words of the Ukrainian official look like a clear dramatization and seem incredible. The author initially did not even want to take them into account. But an analysis of open (!) "republican" sources with statistics on the incidence of COVID-19 in CADLO shows that the Luhansk governor dramatized not so much.
So, let us figure out what is the situation in reality?
Trying to answer this question, one should immediately note that if we analyze the "official" data of the "republican" "ministries" of health, then the "republics" really seem to be at different terrestrial poles. Moreover, the morbidity statistics clearly contravenes with their quarantine policies.
So, citizen of Russia Nikanorova, posing as "the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DNR", is outraged in the already mentioned interview that Ukraine opened its checkpoints for residents of CADLO during the pandemic. According to her, "this is a cynicism", allegedly, Ukraine opened up to spread the infection in CADO. Nikanorova stated that it was the self-isolation policy that allowed the "DNR" "authorities" to keep the situation "stable", that is, the closure of checkpoints with Ukraine and the restriction of movement with the "LNR" and Russia.
According to this logic, the incidence rate in the occupied part of Luhansk oblast should be higher than in CADO, since the checkpoint in Stanytsia Luhanska still worked for most of the past year. But, "statistics" of the "LNR" shows the opposite picture.
If we take as a basis that the population of the Luhansk "republic" is about a million people, and in the Donetsk – about 2.5 million, then the incidence of COVID-19 in them is absolutely not proportional and far from in favor of "self-isolated" Donetsk.
So, as of January 10, the "LNR Ministry of Health" reports a total of 2243 registered and confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. At the same time, as of January 11, 16 209 cases were officially registered in the neighboring "DNR". If only 195 cases of death from COVID were announced in Luhansk at that time for the entire time of the pandemic, then in Donetsk – 1448 deaths.
That is, the "official" incidence rate in the "DNR" is 7.2 times higher than in the "LNR", and the mortality rate from COVID is 7.4 times higher in Donetsk than in Luhansk. This is with the difference in the number of population, at most – by three times…
It turns out that either the "statistics" in Luhansk is pitching greatly, or the policy of open checkpoints with Ukraine, on the contrary, has a salutary effect on the "immunity" of the local population to coronavirus…
Of course, it is not an either-or thing. As well as the fact that the statistics of Donetsk may also be far from true. But since they are still more complete in Donetsk in comparison with the scanty summaries that Luhansk gives out, we will try to map the incidence of COVID-19 in the territories of Donbas occupied by Russia according to the data of the "Ministry of Health of the DNR".
Their core value for us is that they indicate the number of detected infections separately: by tests and by clinical and epidemiological means. This enables us to determine what percentage of tests for coronavirus was positive.
So, on January 12, the Donetsk "Ministry of Health" announced 494 tests, of which 201 showed the presence of coronavirus, that is, 40.7%.
199 tests were conducted on January 10 (data for January 11 was not posted – ed.). Of these, 143 cases were positive – 71.8%.
498 studies were carried out on January 8, of which 170 cases of the disease were detected – 34.1%.
On January 5, the "Ministry of Health of the DPR" reported 601 studies conducted. "Of these, 234 cases (38.9%) were identified".
346 studies were carried out in the "republic" on January 2, of which 232 cases of the disease were detected – 67%.
467 studies were reported on December 31. "225 cases of coronavirus infection (48.2%) have been identified", - the "DNR Ministry of Health" website says.
473 studies were conducted on December 29, "of which 157 cases of the disease were detected" – 33.2%.
"243 studies were conducted on December 26, 131 cases of COVID-19 were detected" – 53.9%
"597 studies were carried out on December 24, of which 195 cases of the disease were detected", –32.7%.
It was reported on December 20 that "227 studies were carried out, of which 103 cases of the disease were detected" – 45.4%.
For comparison, in Ukraine, according to the Ministry of Health, the rate of positive PCR and EIA tests on January 14 was 15.6%.
Moreover, about 0.15% of the population in Ukraine is tested daily on average. And in the so-called "DNR" – 0.016, that is, 10 times less.
And this is understandable, since only one (!) laboratory for checking tests for COVID-19 operates in the "DNR" with about 2.5 million residents. We learn about this from the website of the "DNR Ministry of Health" again, which writes: "As reported by the DNR Ministry of Health, no studies on COVID-19 were carried out on December 27 due to the fact that the laboratory was being sanitized".
To visualize the problem – imagine that there is only one COVID-19 laboratory in Kyiv…
Having analyzed all these figures, we can say that, on average, 52 percent of those coughing in CADO are infected with coronavirus. This is shown by the test results. And this figure can be safely increased even more – at the expense of patients diagnosed with "pneumonia".
It is interesting that not only people far from medicine (like politician Kilinkarov, whom we quoted at the beginning of the article) identify coronavirus with pneumonia, but also the "official" doctors of the "republics" themselves. So the "ministry" of the "DNR" gives statistics on pneumonia in the same summaries with COVID-19. And this is a rather conspicuous fact.
However, the statistics on pneumonia are not systematic, nevertheless, they add at least 20% to the "official" data on corona.
For example, here is a message on the website of the "DNR Ministry of Health" dated December 31: "467 studies were carried out in the Republic over the day, 225 cases of coronavirus infection (48.2%) were detected, and 10 patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 clinically and epidemiologically… As of the morning of December 31, there were 15 318 registered and confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic, of which 4427 patients were undergoing treatment (inpatient and outpatient), 9513 people were discharged and 1378 – died.
106 cases of pneumonia were detected over the day, which were 25 cases less than in the previous day. Of these, 88 were hospitalized. A total of 1704 patients with pneumonia were being treated, of which 646 were on oxygen support (+27 over the day)".
That is, the incidence of pneumonia and the number of people treated for it are about half less than those for coronavirus.
Data of the "DNR Ministry of Health" as of December 31, 2020
Well, the last indicator that characterizes the catastrophic situation with coronavirus is the mortality rate of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. On average, it is 9% in the "DNR". For comparison, the same indicator in the free territory of Donetsk oblast is 2.05%, in Ukraine – 2.5 and in Russia – 2.2 (the data are averaged, exact indicators fluctuate every day – ed.)
According to "official" statistics, the official coronavirus death rate in the "LNR" is 8.7%. 200 deaths were recorded there on January 14 for 2289 cases of coronavirus infection.
However, these are mortality statistics only for COVID. Unfortunately, Donetsk and Luhansk do not publish system data on deaths as a result of pneumonia. Luhansk particularly hides these figures, where, as we remember, according to ex-people's deputy-communist and now resident of Moscow Spiridon Kilinkarov, the death rate has tripled because of pneumonia! But if, following the example of the "republican" doctors, we identify pneumonia with coronavirus, we can assume that mortality for them also reaches about 10%. In total, this gives about 15% of mortality from the number of cases of COVID-19 and pneumonia in the occupied part of Donbas.
After all this, statement of the Luhansk Governor S.Haidai about 7-8 infected out of ten, crossing the checkpoints, no longer seems so incredible…
It is interesting that against the backdrop of this, and either the lack of necessary medicines, or their high cost (medicines appeared in pharmacies only at the end of the year), the leaders of the "DNR" militants announce that the regime of closed checkpoints will remain until the pandemic ends. And representative of the "LNR" in the subgroup on humanitarian issues of the Trilateral Contact Group Olga Kobtseva urged residents of CALO not to get vaccinated in Ukraine.
"Dear citizens of the LNR! I just earnestly ask you to avoid any trouble before making a decision (though this decision is made by you) whether to be vaccinated on the territory of Ukraine or not, think carefully! After all, we have a question: what will Ukraine vaccinate with, where does this vaccine come from, what is the quality of this vaccine?... I just want to warn our population so that our citizens are very careful. Dear citizens! Your life is in your hands, think before you do (vaccination on the territory of Ukraine)", - Kobtseva said on the air of the Vesti plus Lugansk radio station in December last year.
In addition, the lack or unavailability of medicines is exacerbated by the lack of experienced doctors.
Thus, Oksana Demina, who calls herself the "chief specialist" of the "DNR Ministry of Education", stated at the end of December that "according to the analysis of the labor market,… the greatest demand is observed for senior medical personnel – doctors of various categories and directions, engineers and teachers".
All this gives grounds to talk about the artificial creation by Russia of conditions for reducing the number of disabled people in CADLO in order to reduce the cost of maintaining the occupied territories of Donbas. That is, de facto, the medical genocide of the Ukrainian population in CADLO.
Since the victims of COVID-19 are mainly pensioners, disabled people and people with chronic illnesses, this policy is directed against this, dependent for the Russian Federation, disabled part of population of the occupied territory. Accordingly, this can give Moscow a minimum of 15% reduction in spending on social benefits in the "DNR"-"LNR". As favorite of Russians Joseph Stalin said: "No person – no problem".
Hitler solved the problem of overpopulation of German concentration camps by Jews and other "non-Aryan" peoples in a similar, albeit more explicit way…
Serhiy Harmash, Center for Research on Donbas Social Perspectives, for OstroV