Ayrat Farrakhov: 'In many countries with 80% vaccination, there is almost no mortality, and how many are dying in Russia?!'

State duma deputy and ex-minister of healthcare of Tatarstan — about skeptical doctors, 'fakes' about vaccines, and rehabilitation of Covid-19 patients

Large-scale rehabilitation of Russians who have been seriously ill with coronavirus fully starts from 1 January, 2022. Ayrat Farrakhov, the State Duma deputy from Tatarstan, member of the Duma committee on budget and taxes, told about this during the online conference of Realnoe Vremya. The main topic of the conversation with the former minister of healthcare of the republic was the problem of low rates of vaccination against the background of the worsening epidemiological situation, the impact of the pandemic on economic processes and business support measures. The parliamentarian admitted that after he himself was infected with Covid-19, his memory got worse, so he is convinced that all patients need long-term rehabilitation. The deputy also told why he is annoyed by 'skeptical doctors' and 'Covid-dissidents', how 'helicopter money' led to inflation, and why people realised during the pandemic that they needed a strong state.

“After infection with Covid-19, my memory became worse, I became absent-minded”

Almost at the very beginning of the online conference of Realnoe Vremya newspaper, Ayrat Farrakhov announced that rehabilitation measures for Russians who have suffered the new coronavirus infection fully begins from 1 January, 2022.

However, the state already now offers some free programmes, and changes are also being made to the current programme of state guarantees so that the system works effectively.

“In many respects, we do not yet know what level of rehabilitation after Covid-19 will be required, but it is obvious that it will," said Ayrat Farrakhov. “I also suffered from Covid-19, and my memory got worse, I has become absent-minded. Rehabilitation is needed so that there are no serious consequences of the disease. Now a programme is being developed with the ministry of healthcare, with specialists. Resources will be planned, including financial ones, aimed at paying for rehabilitation assistance, which will be free of charge, and people who have had a severe case of Covid-19 will receive it. This is the first time such serious free medical care will be provided within the framework of state guarantees.

In many ways, we do not yet know what level of rehabilitation after Covid-19 will be required, but it is obvious that it will be

Skeptical doctors and “Covid-dissidents”

As a doctor who has worked in the healthcare sector for a long time, Ayrat Farrakhov admitted that he himself did not imagine that such an infection could appear in the 21st century and affect our lives on such a large scale.

But, in his opinion, the Russian healthcare system still has coped with the virus “well and effectively”, and at the same time, people realised how vulnerable they were when “the world was facing an abyss”.

However, now he is surprised that even many people still neglect the risks by not being vaccinated. Although Russia lost many citizens due to the virus and a lot of medical workers in the first wave of the epidemic. He is even more concerned about skeptical doctors who spread “fakes” about the coronavirus and especially about vaccines. This is one of the reasons why a part of the Russian society distrusts traditional medicine and vaccination.

Another reason is that Russian society has always been distinguished by “dissidence” towards vaccines, 10% of people had never been vaccinated before the coronavirus pandemic. But on the other hand, he believes, there is also a certain percentage of simply indecisive people to whom the state should explain why it is still necessary to be vaccinated.

At the same time, the distributors of “fakes”, the so-called “Covid-dissidents” should be held accountable before the law, Ayrat Farrakhov believes. The epidemic, according to him, will continue until there is no collective immunity in society.

Regarding “the tacit coercion to vaccination”, the State Duma deputy noted that if there is distrust, the state must answer all questions as accessible as possible. Including to “doctors-sceptics”.

“It has been 18 months since the infection began. But how long do we have to think and explain?! People get sick two or three times! People who have refrained from vaccination most often die in intensive care units!” Ayrat Farrakhov did not hide his indignation. “It is necessary to get vaccinated! There is no other way. Many developed countries have reached 80% of the vaccination of society, and there is almost no mortality. But how many people are dying in Russia?! And the reason for this is that we have very low rates of vaccination, unfortunately.

In Russia, we are used to the inflation rate of 3,5%, and today it is already more than 6%. This is not a very good indicator, since inflation is an additional tax on the poor

“Many states thoughtlessly are printing a huge amount of money”

Ayrat Farrakhov agreed that the state or an enterprise cannot legally force a citizen and an employee to get vaccinated, in the end, formally, this is a human right. However, if an employee refuses to be vaccinated, “the employer has the right to offer him another job, since he may become dangerous to others because he is a carrier of infection, although according to the law, the company cannot dismiss the employee”.

The State Duma deputy believes that those who do not want to get vaccinated, and especially “Covid-dissidents” and distributors of fakes about coronavirus, vaccines, have a negative impact not only on the work of the healthcare system and public opinion, which leads to the death of people, but also — in a long period — on economic processes. As a result, the whole world is being in a serious economic crisis today, the State Duma deputy said:

“Borders have closed, supply chains have changed, enterprises have closed, all sales have 'gone'. But now the economy is gradually starting to recover. Many countries have reached the pre-pandemic level. There are moments of deferred demand, many states thoughtlessly are printing a huge amount of money, supporting business. All this results in a high level of inflation in most developed countries. In Russia, we are used to the inflation rate of 3,5%, and today it is already more than 6%. This is not a very good indicator, since inflation is an additional tax on the poor.

At the same time, to combat inflation, according to Farrakhov, the Central Bank (through an increase in the key rate) and the Russian government are acting in a balanced and coordinated manner. As a result, by the end of the second quarter, the rate of inflation slowed down. Although its level continues to be affected by “coronafactors”: the borders remain closed, there is also a high demand for retail lending — these are also inflationary factors.

“I hope that inflation will stop within these limits. And the Central Bank's decisions to raise the key rate will lead to that the market will stabilise. But much will depend on inflation expectations, inflation sentiment is now about 10-12% of the inflation rate. People do not believe that the price increase will be stopped or restrained.

It is necessary to give people the opportunity to earn money, to increase the incomes of citizens, so that the economy develops. Construction is one of the strongest drivers of the economy and multipliers of industries

Disputes about “the overheating of the mortgage market”

Separately, Ayrat Farrakhov commented on the so-called “overheating in the mortgage market”, which really exists today, he admitted. But in the dispute between the Central Bank, which wanted to abandon the preferential mortgage, and the Russian government, he took the side of Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin, “who not only supports the construction industry, but solves the systemic state task”.

The Russian deputy prime minister, who is responsible for the government's construction block, said in June that the programme of preferential mortgages with a rate of 7% instead of the previous 6,5% remains profitable for buyers of new buildings, since: “Today we have inflation of 5,5%, and mortgages — 7%. That is, for those who take it out today, it is still more profitable due to inflation.” Although he noted that the volume of mortgage issuance in Russia, compared to last year, may decrease by 20-30%.

“It is necessary to give people the opportunity to earn money, to increase the incomes of citizens, so that the economy develops. And construction is one of the strongest drivers of the economy and multipliers of industries," said Ayrat Farrakhov. “Preferential mortgages create conditions for the growth of this sector. But it also created conditions for the growth of housing prices. Although I will note that housing was bought mainly by those who did not have this housing at all before. That is, the quality of life has increased!” said the State Duma deputy.

Preferential mortgages create conditions for the growth of construction industry. But it also created conditions for the growth of housing prices. Although I will note that housing was bought mainly by those who did not have this housing at all before. That is, the quality of life has increased!

“During the pandemic, people realised how much a strong state is needed”

According to Ayrat Farrakhov, to maintain and develop the economy, it is necessary to continue implementing measures to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), especially since their share in Russia's GDP does not exceed 21%, which is “very little”. It is impossible to build a growing economy without SMEs, he believes, and small businesses have also suffered greatly in the epidemic.

In Tatarstan, “unprecedented conditions” of support have been created to support small and medium-sized businesses even before the pandemic, especially in industrial parks. Therefore, the situation with SMEs in our region is much better than in other regions of Russia.

Farrakhov considers the measures taken to support businesses more effective than the distribution of “helicopter money” (which also led to an increase in inflation in certain countries where the money was printed):

“We have taken a different path in Russia, although we have many dissatisfied with these measures. But still, these measures helped to save jobs and maintain the level of wages," he believes.

At the conclusion of the online conference of Realnoe Vremya newspaper, Ayrat Farrakhov noted that it was the pandemic all over the world that showed how necessary an effective, strong state is.

Earlier, he noted, “people hoped more for themselves, the borders were erased, there was such globalisation. But during the pandemic, people realised how unprotected and vulnerable they are, and how much a strong state is needed to ensure order and carry out vaccination”.

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Sergey Afanasyev. Photo: Maksim Platonov
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