Russian consumer rights watchdog: ‘Coronavirus will occur every year, be ‘active’ in winter’

Russian consumer rights watchdog: ‘Coronavirus will occur every year, be ‘active’ in winter’

“The vaccination is mandatory”

Despite “records” in the daily growth of COVID-19 cases, the situation with coronavirus in the country isn’t so scary, head of Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog (Rospotrebnadzor), Chief Doctor of Russia Anna Popova told journalists on 24 November.

“The country is doing a lot, unprecedentedly a lot to make the situation as less painful as possible for everyone... When we have one mask in the pocket for the whole month to show it to the inspector in the bus or metro, what expectations we are talking about, whom to blame if not yourself.”

First of all, Popova claimed that mass vaccination according to the developer’s statement would start soon. Popova also urged everybody to vaccinate when the vaccine appeared:

“The vaccination is mandatory. There can’t be doubts here, it is necessary to take advantage of the occasion because today it is correct to be vaccinated today for each of us than fall ill”.

According to Popova, all Russian vaccines work well: “There is no foundation to doubt the developed vaccines — three or four or more — will have some disadvantage today. This is simply impossible”.


But the vaccine won’t protect one from the virus

The vaccine protects one from a severe case of coronavirus and death, not the virus itself, noted the head of the watchdog:

“No vaccine in the world protects a person from the pathogen, against whom it works and the penetration of this pathogen to the organism, no vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t protect one from the meeting, from the penetration, which means, any form of the disease”.

She urged the audience not to compare it with a diving suit, the vaccine “isn’t isolation from the external world”.

Antibodies don’t disappear, but their level may reduce

At this moment, Russia hasn’t registered a case of secondary infection with coronavirus, while there are 24 cases around the world, Popova noted. According to her, antibodies don’t disappear, their level may reduce: “The amount of antibodies in any disease always falls after it fades away”.

“Every meeting with the virus leaves an immune response, it is undoubted data. It isn’t correct to say everything has disappeared. Nothing has disappeared,” the head of Rospotrebnadzor stressed.

At this moment, the necessary concentration of antibodies to protect one from contracting coronavirus isn’t known, Popova noted: “The main question all scientists of the world are asking today is the amount of antibodies that is protective”.


A person who has immunity to coronavirus can be diagnosed with it

Another statement of Popova was that a person with immunity to this disease can be diagnosed with coronavirus.

“Immunity isn’t sterile. It means that the virus can live in the organism, while the person doesn’t feel bad, doesn’t have clinical manifestations. It lives on the mucous membrane, in other cells of the organism... This is why a person who has immunity may have the novel coronavirus on the mucous membrane,” Popova explained.

It means that such a carrier may not have clinical manifestations but be a source of the infection.

Coronavirus preventive measures may stay until spring

The restrictions imposed because of coronavirus will likely be necessary until spring. According to Popova, people will probably have to refuse trips to remote countries — the risk is too high.

Photo: Ilya Repin

“It is the new norm, this is how we live today. Yes, we will be living this way for some time. It is good if this ends until it gets warm in spring, but we will likely be careful until warm spring comes,” the chief doctor of Russia claimed.

Moreover, Popova had claimed earlier that coronavirus would likely return every year. “It will come probably every year, it will be active in winter, hopefully, till the middle of the winter, then it will give way to the flu. Viral respiratory infections ‘reign’ when it is cold, this is why we can’t say it will disappear until spring,” the head of Rospotrebnadzor assumes.

By Daria Pinegina