The Kalmyk authorities closed the administrative border with Dagestan due to outbreaks of coronavirus in the border villages of Kalmykia and cases of “import” of coronavirus from Dagestan. The regime of mandatory lockdown in Kalmykia was extended until June 7. At the same time, in Dagestan the situation with the epidemic is close to catastrophic; the local authorities have been caught on publishing false medical statistics.
The head of the administration of the Chernozemsky district of Kalmykia, Vitaly Krylov, said:
“This decision is necessary. Breakouts keep sparking in the villages one by one. Right now it is important to localize them and prevent new infections. I am sure that these measures will be effective”.
The restrictions do not apply to those who enter Dagestan to work, and do not discriminate interests of entrepreneurs or safety and security of citizens. Since the epidemic began in Kalmykia, 879 cases have been identified, of which 350 have recovered, 11 have died. In neighboring Dagestan, the picture is different: the official number of cases is 4,095 people, 3,267 have recovered, 84 people have died.
However, the actual number of victims of the epidemic in Dagestan remains unclear. A few days ago, the Minister of Health of the Republic Jamaludin Hajiyibragimov in his interview revealed completely different figures. According to his interview, 13,697 people actually got coronavirus in the republic. The number of deaths exceeded 700 people. The minister explained the discrepancies with official figures as a mess in the registration of cases of the disease. The real reason, as some journalists believe, is different: the number of epidemic victims in Russia is underestimated everywhere, but it is not always possible to keep this a secret. Due to the national specifics of Dagestan, public figures began to talk about the disaster.
For example, Osman Kadiev, president of Dagestan Anji football club, said that officials had underestimated the number of people infected and killed by COVID-19. According to journalist Magomed Magomedov, the discrepancies between official data and reality have become so obvious that it was no longer possible to hide the situation:
Residents of the republic looked at the scoreboard and saw that, according to official figures, 12 people had died from Covid. And a relatively small number, a thousand with something, is sick. At the same time, they see that hospitals are crowded, there are no beds … People see that almost in every Dagestan hospital two or three people die every day,… Questions began to arise … Representatives of the authorities began to push this problem against each other. No one wanted to be the guilty one.
The real picture in other Russian regions can be recreated only based on fragmentary and conflicting data. For example, in a hospital in the village of Karabikha, Yaroslavl Region, patients were left to die without medical assistance, and the corpses of the dead were stored right in the corridor.