Georgian Living in Russia About the Government Hiding Coronavirus Cases
18 March, 2020
Georgian Living in Russia About the Government Hiding Coronavirus Cases
Almost the whole world suffers from respiratory disease coronavirus which has killed around 8,011 people and 202,259 cases are officially reported around the world. Some countries have already declared an emergency situation . The Italian government has announced the lockdown on March 9 and Georgia is taking extraordinary measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

What is interesting though is that while other countries are "screaming" and crying out for help, Russia is suspiciously silent about the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, interviewing
Georgians living in Russia turned out the be a huge help for finding out the truth.

As one of them says showing symptoms of fever or flu is not enough for the Russian Health System to test you for COVID-19.

"Because of having a temperature, one of my friends who is 58 years old now, went to see a doctor to check if everything was alright. After prescribing medicines, he asked whether the doctors would test him for coronavirus. The answer he got was that he did not have any symptoms of it. The fact is that the doctors do not want to test people for the virus because testing them means admitting that there is a threat of the virus in the country."

Citizens of Russia connect this fact to one major event and that is a Constitutional Referendum which is going to be held on April 22, 2020. As the government is not willing to postpone the referendum, it prefers to hide a very important matter such as the coronavirus outbreak.

"I meet a lot of Georgians here and the main thing we are afraid of is that if one of us gets infected with coronavirus, there is no way that the Russian Government takes care of us. Unfortunately, having lived already for twenty years in Russia, I have Russian citizenship, which means that I can not return to Georgia because of the recent border restrictions made."

Even though Russia is trying very hard to hide it, the situation there is very difficult.

"We do not have quarantines here. The kindergartens are still working and they say that there is no necessity to close them at this point. Also, the schools and universities were working until now and switching to remote studying mode is planned only from Monday. The bars, restaurants, and cafes are still active and from what I have heard the disinfection of streets or municipal transport is not planned yet. They say that there is no reason to panic, but people are already supplying the products at home. Wherever you go, everyone says that the government is lying to us."

As the Russian government says, there are only 50 people infected with coronavirus in Moscow, which seems very unreal for the locals.

"I listen to the radio all the time and what they say there is that a minimum of 500 people are already infected with the virus."

It is noteworthy to mention that a few days ago a very well-known Russian expert in political sciences Valery Solovey made a very shocking statement saying that the number of people infected with coronavirus in Russia has reached 150-180 thousand people and the death toll reaches 1600 people. 

Photos from The Moscow Times

Author: Mariam Kukhilava

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