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A third of Russian medical workers say they have instructions to underreport COVID-19 deaths, according to a new survey on a doctors’ mobile app
Source: Meduza

More than a third of respondents in a recent survey of 509 medical workers at Russian hospitals repurposed during the coronavirus pandemic said they’re instructed not to code pneumonia deaths caused by the coronavirus as COVID-19 fatalities. This policy is allegedly intended to “correct” Russia’s statistics on the incidence and mortality rate of the coronavirus. 

The poll appeared on the “Spravochnik Vracha” (Doctor’s Manual) mobile app. Meduza obtained the survey’s results, where 23.4 percent of respondents said their repurposed hospitals aren’t prepared to accept suspected coronavirus cases, and another 16.1 percent said the influx of new patients has overwhelmed their hospitals.

Almost 40 percent of respondents said their access to lifesaving personal protective equipment is either irregular or insufficient, and more than half of the medical workers who answered the poll said they believe their hospitals aren’t taking enough precautions to protect staff members during the coronavirus pandemic. 

More than 90 percent of respondents said they think they’ve had direct contact with COVID-19 carriers, and nearly 70 percent said they’ve observed patients infected with the disease.

Almost 80 percent of the poll’s respondents said they have colleagues who have contracted COVID-19, and another 6.9 percent said they themselves have tested positive.