Marat Sadykov: ‘Everybody criticises us for allegedly wrong statistics’
“Some say we understate the death toll”
Tatarstan Health Care Minister Marat Sadykov answered main questions about the fight against the coronavirus in the republic at an online conference on 17 June.
First of all, the Tatarstan health care minister said that Tatarstan didn’t have a rise in the death toll in 2020. According to him, the general mortality rate corresponds to five months in 2018, 2019.
As Sadykov said, “2,577 beds and 902 ventilators were prepared” in the republic because of the pandemic. Nowadays 58 people are on the ventilator, moreover, not all of them are diagnosed with the coronavirus.
“Everybody criticises us that we allegedly provide the statistics wrong. Some say we understate it, others — we write COVID+. COVID is written down when the virus is identified, according to clinical symptoms and instruments such as computer tomography. The problem is that the identification of the virus sometimes shows a negative result. But some symptoms and research show it. This is why there is a difference in the statistics when we write down COVID that has all three signs. But in our system, two signs aren’t a diagnose,” Marat Sadykov commented.
As for medics who contracted the coronavirus, the minister noted that the lowest percentage of cases was precisely in COVID hospitals because the staff is “protected and meticulous” there. Not-COVID hospitals raise the most questions.
“Official data: about 400 medics were confirmed to have COVID. A commission of the Social Protection Fund and Ministry of Health Care work on this case to pay them insurance payouts. The sum is 68,000 rubles,” the functionary specified.
“I don’t exclude there won’t be a second wave”
During the online conference, the Tatarstan health minister complained about fake news about the coronavirus and “information pandemic”.
“Everybody has become a virologist, infectologist,” he noted.
Sadykov agreed to comment on rumours that now spread on social media. For instance, he expressed his attitude to the messages that the coronavirus might appear in Russia as early as in November-December 2019.
“The question is interesting. The borders were open, China began to blaze only in December. It isn’t such a fast way of spreading. Many Chinese were in the republic even in January-February. And our statistics show a very sudden rise in pneumonia cases. We didn’t identify this virus in November-December. We identified the flu in 15% of cases, the rest was diagnosed as viral respiratory infections. This is why I think it is possible,” the functionary claimed.
Also, Marat Sadykov answered the question if we should expect a second wave of the coronavirus.
“I am not Wolf Messing, I can’t foresee what will happen, but there are certain mathematical models. I don’t exclude there won’t be a second wave”, the head of the Tatarstan health care ministry said.
“Emergency simply couldn’t process the flow of people”
During the conference, concerned citizens of Naberezhnye Chelny asked him how the situation with health care in their city was handled.
“When patients are brought here, we don’t know if he or she has COVID. The same happens in Naberezhnye Chelny. There is sorting: we send those who have virus pneumonia to virus-free hospitals. Epidemiologically, it is a correct approach. Those patients whose virus pneumonia was confirmed are sent to special COVID hospitals. While Emergency simply couldn’t process the flow of people both who came on their own and delivered by an ambulance,” Marat Sadykov replied.
In the end, another sorting hospital opened in Chelny. We should remind you that earlier Chelny clinics began to invite doctors from other cities to work with patients with the coronavirus. For instance, six medics headed to Chelny from Mamadysh.
“I am not Wolf Messing, I can’t foresee what will happen, but there are certain mathematical models. I don’t exclude there won’t be a second wave”, the head of the Tatarstan health care ministry said
“Don’t self-medicate, seek medical advice”
A bigger number of computer tomography provided an unexpectedly positive effect on the republic. According to Sadykov, thanks to this doctors began to detect lung cancer at an early stage more.
The speaker also noted that the method of treatment of COVID-19 patients hadn’t changed since March, moreover, severe patients began to be transfused with the plasma of those who recovered from the disease and have anti-bodies.
“The treatment scheme in general hasn’t changed since March. There are medicines made in Russia: Hydroxichloride, Avafir. But Avafir has some complications. I am urging everybody not to self-medicate but seek medical advice,” the minister pleaded. “As for the changes, we began to use a serum of former patient’s anti-bodies in severe patients. The method turned out to be effective. But two of 17 patients who were transfused the serum died. But, first of all, they were above 75 years, secondly, they all had chronic diseases.”
The minister called following all recommendations given by Russia’s consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor earlier as the foundation to prevent the coronavirus.