Covid: Russia has 425,000 additional fatalities – raises suspicions about official death toll

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Russia has seen nearly 425,000 additional deaths since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, raising suspicions that the country’s official death toll is much higher than 123,000.

The 425,000 additional deaths in the country were recorded from April 2020 to April 2021, according to Reuters calculations based on data released Friday by Russian state statistics.

The number of additional fatalities, which some epidemiologists say is the best way to measure the true coronavirus death toll, exceeds the country’s official Covid death toll.

The data has led to suspicions that the total number of Covid deaths is much higher than the 123,037 recorded, a figure calculated by the Russian coronavirus task force.

Excess mortality refers to the number of deaths from all causes during a health crisis, comparing the number of deaths during the pandemic to what would normally have been expected.

Russia has seen nearly 425,000 additional deaths since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, according to data from April 2020 to April 2021. Pictured: An intensive care unit of a temporary Covid facility of Hospital No. 67 at the Krylatskoye Ice Palace

Russia has seen nearly 425,000 additional deaths since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, according to data from April 2020 to April 2021. Pictured: An intensive care unit of a temporary Covid facility of Hospital No. 67 at the Krylatskoye Ice Palace

Rosstat, Russia’s state statistics agency, maintains its own data and said on Friday that about 270,000 people have died in Russia from Covid and other related causes since the start of the pandemic last year.

In April this year, 20,323 people died from Covid and related causes in Russia, which is 11.6 percent higher than the same period last year, the statistics service said.

On Thursday, Russia recorded 2,614 new Covid-19 deaths, while the number of confirmed cases added 63,058 to the rising total.

It comes after the Russians are warned limit their vodka consumption after receiving the Sputnik V jab, as the country registered the world’s first vaccine for animals.

The head of the Gamaleya Research Institute, which created Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, said Russians should not drink more than a shot and a half of vodka a day if they want its protection to remain effective.

Alexander Gintsburg said the cells of the immune system “stop multiplying” when there is a higher alcohol content in the body.

The data has led to suspicions that the total number of Covid deaths far exceeds the 123,037 recorded (pictured), a figure calculated by Russia's coronavirus task force

The data has led to suspicions that the total number of Covid deaths far exceeds the 123,037 recorded (pictured), a figure calculated by Russia's coronavirus task force

The data has led to suspicions that the total number of Covid deaths far exceeds the 123,037 recorded (pictured), a figure calculated by Russia’s coronavirus task force

On Thursday, Russia recorded 2,614 new Covid-19 deaths, while the number of confirmed cases added 63,058 (pictured) to the rising total

On Thursday, Russia recorded 2,614 new Covid-19 deaths, while the number of confirmed cases added 63,058 (pictured) to the rising total

On Thursday, Russia recorded 2,614 new Covid-19 deaths, while the number of confirmed cases added 63,058 (pictured) to the rising total

“Cells have to multiply to produce antibodies,” he added.

The average Russian drinks 110 shots of the national drink every year, but this figure is thought to be much higher for men.

Recipients of the Sputnik V vaccine were previously advised not to drink alcohol for nearly two months before and after the injection to avoid putting a strain on the body’s immune system.

Gintsburg’s warning came when Russia registered the world’s first vaccine for animals, called Carnivac-Cov.

‘The next step [of the pandemic] is the infection of farm animals and pets,” said the microbiologist.

And if we protect humanity within a year with good vaccines, pets will be infected by then. And no one gets rid of their beloved pets.’

Gintsburg said the pathogen will continue to evolve and be present in communities.

“You have to be prepared for a long life with this pathogen,” he added.

Carnivac-Cov was developed by the Federal Center for Animal Health, according to Russian media.

“It is the world’s first and currently only coronavirus vaccine for animals,” said watchdog Konstantin Savenkov, head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance.

“All vaccinated animals tested developed antibodies against the coronavirus in 100 percent of the cases,” he claimed.

Virologist Dr. Nadezhda Rakhmanina added: ‘This particular vaccine is primarily needed in fur farming.

It comes after Russians have been warned to limit their vodka consumption after receiving the Sputnik V jab as the country registered the world's first vaccine for animals (stock image)

It comes after Russians have been warned to limit their vodka consumption after receiving the Sputnik V jab as the country has registered the world's first vaccine for animals (stock image)

It comes after Russians have been warned to limit their vodka consumption after receiving the Sputnik V jab as the country has registered the world’s first vaccine for animals (stock image)

Gintsburg's warning came when Russia registered the world's first vaccine for animals, called Carnivac-Cov.  Pictured: A rabbit gets the injection in Russia on December 9, 2020

Gintsburg's warning came when Russia registered the world's first vaccine for animals, called Carnivac-Cov.  Pictured: A rabbit gets the injection in Russia on December 9, 2020

Gintsburg’s warning came when Russia registered the world’s first vaccine for animals, called Carnivac-Cov. Pictured: A rabbit gets the injection in Russia on December 9, 2020

‘Last year there were reported cases of massive deaths of fur animals abroad, including in Denmark.

‘In general, fur animals are susceptible to many infectious diseases in humans, they are even susceptible to the flu.

‘These animals can become ill en masse from the coronavirus. So the vaccine is really needed.

However, Rakhmanina was less certain about the need for a pet jab.

“It has not been proven in the past year that pets can be a source of Covid-19 infection for humans.

“There are isolated cases of infection in cats that have been described and proven. But there is no crowd [evidence] yet.’

Demand for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, currently one of the most effective in the world, is rising in Europe and elsewhere.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that President Vladimir Putin was in talks with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel to discuss prospects for EU registration of the vaccine and its shipments and joint production in EU countries.

Meanwhile, Putin officials have told officials to prepare to open Russia to “vaccine tourism,” where foreigners can pay for the Sputnik V shot.

The president, who says the vaccine is as reliable as a Kalashnikov rifle, also claimed that some countries avoided the injections made in Russia for “political reasons.”

Speaking at the annual economic conference in St. Petersburg, Putin said: “Considering the efficiency of our vaccines, I know that [foreign] the demand is quite high.’

“The domestic pharmaceutical industry is poised to further ramp up vaccine production,” the 68-year-old added.

Kirill Dmitriyev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that funds the vaccine, said at the forum that Russia could be open to “vaccine tourism” from July.

Vladimir Putin (pictured) said Russia's main vaccine, Sputnik V, had already been registered in 66 countries with a combined population of more than three billion people

Vladimir Putin (pictured) said Russia's main vaccine, Sputnik V, had already been registered in 66 countries with a combined population of more than three billion people

Vladimir Putin (pictured) said Russia’s main vaccine, Sputnik V, had already been registered in 66 countries with a combined population of more than three billion people

Russia has approved four domestic vaccines, with Sputnik V being the most widely used. Administered in two doses, spaced 21 days apart between each injection, it was the world’s first Covid vaccine in August 2020.

Named after the world’s first satellite launched by the USSR in 1957, Sputnik was touted by Putin as “the best” jab in the world, while the leading independent medical journal The Lancet deemed it effective in a study published in February.

The Kremlin said Putin had been privately vaccinated, but it is not known which of the three main shots in Russia he used.

Putin also took the opportunity on Friday to encourage all Russians to come forward to receive their free vaccines.

“Every adult citizen of Russia has the opportunity to get vaccinated completely free of charge,” Putin told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, often referred to as Russia’s Davos.

“I would like to ask our citizens to take this opportunity to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The 68-year-old leader said Russian authorities had not recorded a single fatality related to the coronavirus vaccine.

He repeated that he had been vaccinated himself and that the injections have few side effects.

“I know that firsthand,” Putin said.

Putin said Russia’s main vaccine, Sputnik V, had already been registered in 66 countries with a combined population of more than three billion people.

Russia has administered some 11.12 million injections of the virus to its more than 144.4 million people, but is struggling to combat the high level of vaccine hesitancy.

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