Today concluding this story by reporter Evgeny Pogrebnyak. Where we left off, Russian journalists and bloggers were trying to figure out what Russia did right and Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan did wrong, in their handling of the coronavirus crisis. And also what Russia can do to help its neighbors more.
A lady named Elvira Oskonbaeva who lives in in Kyrgyzstan, writes in her Facebook about her experiences: “I have [female] friends living all over Russia. I chat with them, I tell them about our situation, what’s happening here, and give them good advice, like what to drink, what the virus is up to; and they write back, hey, for three months now we have been taking anticoagulants, and Vitamin C and other vitamins. We go out for walks, we jog, engage in sports. They tell me a caregiver stopped by, gave them recommendations, told them all about the virus. The Russian Health Ministry offers recommendations, there is a whole protocol in place for healing various stages of the disease.
“And these protocols were written half a year ago! Russia understood, already half a year ago, that the cunning of this virus does NOT consist of inducing fever, but rather in the formation of blood clots! Now the big question: Why didn’t WE know this? Why did our Kyrgyz Ministry of Health not recommend these measures? Why did we not have caretakers coming to visit us and explain these things to us and how we should comport ourselves? All we did was stupidly sit in quarantine and get drunk! That’s just how ignorant we were about the course and prophylactics of this disease!”
[yalensis: Oskonbaeva’s post brings up a sharp contrast between the way Russia is handling this pandemic vs the United States. In the U.S. temperature screening is virtually the only tool used, in many institutions, to “detect” infections and prevent entry. Even though epidemiologists admit that it is not a good marker at all — the virus is subtle and mostly does not bring about fever; nonetheless many hospitals and other institutions are wasting tons of time and money on these thermometers and temperature screeners, even though it is not clear they have ever detected a single case! Meanwhile, the prevailing theory in Russia is that the main ill effect of the virus is to cause blood clots; so they are treating people with prophylactic anticoagulant therapies. Only time will show who was right.]
In conclusion, Oskonbaeva blames the government of Kyrgyzstan for its incompetence and khalatnost in this matter; and contrasts unfavorably with Russia; where the government seems to be on the ball.
The worse the situation gets in these countries, the more they start turning to Moscow for help. At a conference of the Eurasian Inter-Governmental Council, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Askar Mamin reminded Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin about the dire situation in Kazakhstan. Mamin hinted that the Kazakhs were following very closely the development of a vaccine in Russia, and asked him if they could get their hands on some when it’s ready, without having to stand in line. Mamin: “The main thing is that we received the competencies of Russian doctors who came to us, who worked and work in various regions of Kazakhstan…. We are really counting on the fact that once the vaccine starts to be produced on an industrial scale, we would like Kazakhstan to receive doses of the vaccine, as among the first countries to receive it, and have the opportunity to start applying it to our population. This is really important to us.”
In Kyrgyzstan, certain individuals went even further than this, and appealed directly, almost groveling, to Russian President Putin. A well-known and popular TV anchor-person lady made a video appeal to Putin: “Respected President of the Russian Federation! Respected Vladimir Vladimirovich! We have a humanitarian catastrophe in our country. We lack medical equipment, ventilators, oxygen tanks, medicines, professional cadres. We are aware how Russia defeated this deadly enemy, the coronavirus, having created medications, personal protective equipment (PPE), and having built more hospitals. We are pleading with you to help the people of Kyrgyzstan. Our country has the highest rate of mortality. We simply cannot withstand this onslaught. We are begging you to help us…”
A couple of days after this appeal, a group of Kyrgyz political experts sent an open letter to Putin, begging for some of that sweet, sweet vaccine, once it has been produced: “Currently our nation is facing a true humanitarian catastrophe in connection with the increasing growth of the coronavirus pandemic. Regretfully, the efforts of our government and social organizations to struggle against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, have not sufficed to get the situation under control. Many deficits can be noted in the development of a strategy to counteract this pandemic. For example, institutional weaknesses and the unpreparedness of our health system. Not to mention the corruption of many officials and governmental structures…. We are hoping that, alongside the Russian Federation itself, we in Kyrgzystan could be among the first to start taking the new vaccine.”
The vaccine itself is not yet ready for prime time. While impatiently waiting for it, patients in these countries are still being treated the old-fashioned way. While cursing out the authorities for their helplessness, and hoping that Russia will come to help them.