There to be no lockdown in Russia, COVID-19 no longer penetrate lung tissue: Anna Popova's main statements

Head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova gave a big interview to RIA Novosti. As the head of the department that carefully monitors the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the country, she spoke about Omicron, assessed the chances of a new lockdown, and gave a forecast on the situation with the coronavirus.

Realnoe Vremya publishes a selection of Popova's main points about the situation with COVID-19 in Russia today.

“The whole pandemic, all two years, the Russian Federation, no matter what anyone says, has been passing with even results, without giving very high incidence figures.”

This is how Popova assessed the situation with the coronavirus, despite that Russia has been breaking its own records of new cases of COVID-19 for several days in a row. For example, on 1 February, the operational headquarters reported 125 836 cases. In total, 11 986 913 cases of coronavirus have been detected in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The healthcare system is coping, the mortality rate is no higher than in other periods that we have been through for two years, and today there are no grounds for any special external restrictions. The subjects carefully introduce some special measures without plunging the entire society and the entire economy into a state of collapse, which today does not need to be done.”

A new lockdown is not expected, according to Popova. There are no grounds for this: doctors and hospitals are coping with the influx of Covid-19 patients, although some regions are already suspending the provision of planned medical care due to an increase in morbidity.

“Today we see that the mortality rate is not increasing, it is less compared to the previous strain, and the load on the bed capacity is reduced. Today, data on the number of hospitalised people and the dynamics are published every day. This dynamic is still negative.”

It should be noted that on 1 February, according to the operational headquarters, 17,487 people were hospitalised. This, by the way, is by 92,4% more than on January 31. As of 1 February, 663 people died.

“Large cities, Moscow, Moscow Oblast — this is one large agglomeration — and St. Petersburg today account for more than half of all cases of coronavirus diseases in the whole country. Omicron has arrived, it has already gained positions here, it is spreading very quickly and gives the figures we are talking about.”

Omicron, the strain of coronavirus that has been detected in almost all regions of Russia, “has already gained ground”, Popova summed up. Residents of the capital, Moscow region and St. Petersburg get infected most often.

“The virus is constantly changing, this is its property <...>. It looks for the best form that adapts it to the human body. In search of the most correct form, the most correct amino acid composition, the virus lost one of the receptors that provided its tropicity, or the ability to penetrate into the lung tissue.”

Now the coronavirus, according to Popova, has stopped penetrating the lung tissue and mainly affects the organs of the upper respiratory tract. Also, Omicron mainly stays in the upper respiratory tract, causing tracheitis, as well as bronchitis in children.

“A patient who has had a positive PCR test must have a negative test to go to work. If a person is sick, then the possibility of his going to work is determined only by a doctor, and there are no other options here.”

Popov explained that the quarantine period is reduced from 14 to 7 days only for those who have been in contact with patients with coronavirus. The rest should consult a doctor

Tatyana Demina

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