Think in strains: will Russia introduce new restrictions due to SARS-CoV-2

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The government may introduce additional restrictions if a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 is found in Russia, but a complete lockdown is unlikely, politicians and experts interviewed by Izvestia say following the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers Council on coronavirus… At the meeting, the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova said that the country has not identified the “British” variant of COVIDhowever, there were other mutations, not as dangerous. Vaccination, in her opinion, will make it possible to successfully combat this species. For this by the end of the year, Russia will produce 2 million doses of the drug, said the Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko.

Thousands of mutations

While people began to slowly get along with the familiar coronavirus, which swept all continents on December 22, a big commotion was caused by his “younger brother.” After a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 was discovered in the UK, about 30 countries decided to suspend flights with it. Scientists claim that the main danger of the variation of the virus is the speed of spread, which is 70% higher than that of COVID-19… It is assumed that the rate of lethality and the response to vaccines are almost the same.

At the meeting on December 22 The head of Rospotrebnadzor noted that at the moment more than 1.4 thousand COVID mutations have already been found in Russians… However, she immediately hastened to reassure everyone: “Russian variations” are not associated with changes in the properties of the virus, but their appearance can be considered a “routine”… The possibility of transmission from person to person and the pathogenicity in them is the same as in the already familiar infection.

If we talk about what happened and the materials that are available to us, then their analysis shows that since the beginning of November, only 6% of all genomes published by the UK contained this mutation… And isolated cases of mutation from September to November were registered in France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway. And in the UK, these mutations were already evident in June this year, – said Anna Popova.

Although domestic vaccines are effective in combating the new strain, the government has already suspended flights with the United Kingdom to minimize the risks of infection of Russians, she recalled. In order for as many as possible to be able to get an anticoid vaccination, the Russian Federation will release 2 million doses of the drug by the end of the year, said Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko.

In addition to the new outbreak in Britain, the council also discussed long-term problems – slow payments to doctors for work in especially difficult conditions and a shortage of drugs… The head of government recalled that the heads of relevant departments and governors should not hope that someone will fulfill their duties for them – they need to respond promptly to appeals and complaints from the population.

The Cabinet of Ministers will allocate over 52 billion rubles more for social payments to medical workers. These funds will be given to specialists until March.

Your task is to ensure that both these funds and those allocated earlier are quickly and on time received by the addressees. If you see that there are delays somewhere – solve the problem in the literal sense of the word manually, – the prime minister urged the officials.

Unforgettable old

If a new strain is discovered, it is possible to introduce new or strengthen existing preventive measures, because this will make it possible to more effectively and easily prevent a possible threat, and not fight the spread of the disease, Tatyana Kusayko, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, Honored Doctor of Russia, told Izvestia… At the same time, it is too early to draw final conclusions about the British strain of SARS-CoV-2, because the data on the virus have not been fully confirmed.

– Here it is necessary for the citizens themselves to take a more responsible attitude towards the possible danger and potential consequences: strictly, properly comply with all the requirements of Rospotrebnadzor, as well as the measures taken in the regions. Otherwise, I will not rule out the possibility of a short-term introduction or strengthening of restrictive measures, including the termination of air traffic with other countries. I think this is quite justified, because the lives and health of people are at the head… At the same time, I am sure that we will be able to avoid a complete lockdown and there will be no such tough restrictions as there were before, – the politician believes.

The decision to terminate flights with Britain should have been made earlier, other senators believe, not excluding the closure of borders with other countries.

We should limit as much as possible the possibility of penetration of this strain into Russia.… It is necessary to act promptly, one cannot fail to notice its danger and the risks of an increase in morbidity due to it. The message should be blocked with the maximum number of countries in which this mutation has been recorded, ”Sergei Leonov, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, told Izvestia.

The expert community does not quite agree with this opinion. The introduction of strict restrictions can do more harm than good, explained to Izvestia Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of the Department of Virology, Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University Alexei Agranovsky.

New strain is not a reason to introduce lockdown… New variations of the virus will appear all the time, this is a completely natural process. There is little point in limiting air traffic, because if a new strain has already appeared somewhere, then it has already spread. He is already here and there. It’s too late to close. They do it, but I don’t see much sense, – added the expert.

On the eve of the New Year, Russians have already had time to face increased restrictions and the introduction of new rules. It is likely that the increase in the number of coronavirus cases during the holidays will be avoided, because many do not need to go to work or take their children to school, Tatiana Kusayko believes. In addition, entertainment centers will not work in many regions, and mass events are prohibited. However The burden on hospitals and ambulance services may increase for other reasons, for example, due to the traditional increase in the treatment of injuries and poisoning due to excessive alcohol consumption.

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