Dmitry Lopushov: 'One shouldn't take these days for days off in our understanding'

Dmitry Lopushov: 'One shouldn't take these days for days off in our understanding'

'We are given the right not to go to work, accordingly, we need to take advantage of this — to stay at home'

The practice of announcing non-working days, which await Russians from October 30 for a period of one week, is not new. The state has already passed through lockdown, however, with stricter restrictions — the strictest was in the spring of 2020. This time there will be no strict restrictions. The epidemic situation that has become more complicated in October, caused by a surge in the incidence of coronavirus and deaths becasue of it, forced the authorities to take measures to separate the population. This is the goal of the non-working week that awaits everyone, Leyla Fazleeva, the deputy prime minister of the Republic of Tatarstan, the head of the republican operation centre for countering the spread of COVID-19, explained on 27 October during a live broadcast on Instagram.

“This is the minimum of our communication with you, and if enterprises and organisations continue to work, then with the strictest observance of sanitary measures — wearing masks, observing thermometry, and if we are sick, we do not come to the workplace," she added.

Explanatory and regulatory documents are being prepared, the deputy prime minister noted.

Lopushov explained that a whole week without work is a rest, in fact, forced, but which will help reduce tension, the level of morbidity. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Dmitry Lopushov, the chief visiting epidemiologist of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Tatarstan, invited to participate in the live broadcast of the operational headquarters, believes that the established non-working days will really help improve the epidemiological situation:

“This means staying at home, minimising contacts and, as a result, reducing the incidence rate. It is necessary to clearly understand that we are given the right not to go to work, accordingly, we need to take advantage of this — to stay at home, not to go to shopping centres, especially somewhere outside of our region. Otherwise, these non-working days will not bring any effect.”

Lopushov explained that a whole week without work is a rest, in fact, forced, but which will help reduce tension, the level of morbidity. But to achieve this, everyone will have to minimise the number of contacts:

“One shouldn't take these days for days off in our understanding — it means going to relatives, celebrating some holidays, going abroad on vacation — that's what you should not do in any case.”

Lopushov advised to take care of yourself this week — for example, to get vaccinated against coronavirus, especially since all vaccination points in the republic will work.

Lopushov advised to take care of yourself this week — for example, to get vaccinated against coronavirus. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Further, answering questions from Instagram users, the epidemiologist disappointed those residents of Tatarstan who were waiting for CoviVac vaccine to come in the region — its shortage will continue to persist, at least in the next ten days. By his recommendation, it is possible to queue up on the waiting list, but, he stressed, it is possible to re-vaccinate with those vaccines that are available: “You can also do Sputnik V, that is, it is not necessary and it is not strictly mandatory that re-vaccination is carried out only by Sputnik Lite. "

Another piece of advice from Lopushov, which he has given Tatarstan citizens more than once: not to self-medicate, and noted, “it is clear that everyone has access to the Internet, everyone considers themselves doctors, but I urge them not to do this for their own well-being, prescribe treatment for themselves, some kind of tests, so that they can be interpreted somehow later.”

Ambulance crews will be provided with rapid tests

Meanwhile, he admitted that it is really difficult to get an appointment with a doctor today, and if it was possible to do it, then you should not require a mandatory PCR test from a doctor. As the expert emphasised, the doctor himself will decide on the basis of symptoms, tests and other indicators whether the patient needs this type of diagnosis.

By the way, according to Lopushov, the first batch of tests for rapid diagnosis of coronavirus, which the representatives of the republican Ministry of Healthcare and Rospotrebnadzor have recently talked about, has already arrived in Tatarstan and is now being distributed to medical institutions. However, as he noted, these tests will not fully replace PCR diagnostics, but will simply help doctors more quickly determine the presence of the coronavirus antigen in the patient's blood and make a decision on further treatment based on the indicators. First of all, ambulance crews will be provided with rapid tests.

As the expert emphasised, the doctor himself will decide on the basis of symptoms, tests and other indicators whether the patient needs a PCR test. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Also, speaking about the notorious PCR test, the speaker stressed that it is not an alternative to the QR code introduced in Tatarstan in the form of a pass to public spaces, emphasising that there is no point in doing PCR for admission somewhere:

“Our task is the formation of community immunity, which can be achieved only through vaccination. We can take everyone through PCR testings, but we must understand that a negative PCR testing indicates that it is at the time of sampling that a person is not a carrier. After two hours, he can already be a carrier.”

Vaccination certificates will be also valid after November 8

A lot of questions from the viewers of the live broadcast concerned vaccination, including its necessity for those with a high antibody titer. An example was given by the press secretary of the President of Russia, Dmitry Peskov, who is not vaccinated because he has a lot of antibodies. In response to this, the chief republican epidemiologist said: at every meeting with the virus, the presence of antibodies in the human body decreases. Especially now the delta strain is circulating in the world, actively mutating and rapidly multiplying in the body. Therefore, it is now important to maintain a high level of antibodies — the more, the better. This can be done only through vaccination. According to him, the highest titer after the coronavirus he had seen was 500-600 CU, and after Sputnik Lite it was already 44,000.

They also discussed vaccinations for pregnant and lactating women, especially since now these conditions have been excluded from the list of contraindications for vaccination. According to Lopushov, about 800 expectant mothers have been vaccinated against coronavirus in Tatarstan. However, he warned against vaccinating pregnant women at a later date, since a possible increase in temperature due to vaccination can negatively affect both the woman and the child she carryies. In this case, he advised to make a decision together with an obstetrician-gynecologist.

If the vaccine is practically ready for use in children, then, accordingly, breastfeeding can in no way prevent vaccination. Photo: rastimdetey.ru

As for women who are breastfeeding, according to the epidemiologist, “certain studies have been conducted, taking into account that the procedure for vaccination of the child population is being approved by the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation, this suggests that vaccination for the child population is also safe. If the vaccine is practically ready for use in children, then, accordingly, breastfeeding can in no way prevent vaccination.”

Lopushov hastened to dispel rumours that the vaccination certificate issued earlier will cease to be valid from November 8, since the Russian Ministry of Healthcare is introducing its new format. As he explained, the updated document will indicate three indicators — the fact of vaccination, the facts of the disease, and medical exemption.

“All those certificates that already exist, I think they will remain valid. However, there is no explanation so far. The only thing is that there is a mention that the form will be modified, but given that there are certificates, there will most likely be a technical solution that the existing certificates will also be valid," the speaker said.

Angelina Panchenko
Analytics Tatarstan