Anna Popova: ‘Tatarstan’s economy didn’t stop even during the toughest period’
Specialists of Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog discussed the summary of 2020 and plans for the future
A meeting of Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog with Russian chief physician Anna Popova took place in Kazan on 20 January. Experts declared coronavirus was almost defeated and named vaccination as a serious stage in the fight against the pandemic. Specialists think that the result of the vaccination campaign in Tatarstan can be called successful while the state of groundwater of our republic, in contrast, leaves a lot to be desired.
“Only 3% of the patients had a severe case”
During the pandemic, Russia’s consumer rights protection watchdog became one of the key agencies in the fight with COVID-19. Probably this is why the attention to the agency’s session summing up 2020 was great: Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov also arrived to summarise the year in the watchdog’s Tatarstan office together with Russia’s chief physician Anna Popova. Head of the Tatarstan office Marina Patyashina talked about numbers in the battle with coronavirus.
“There were registered 13,284 cases of coronavirus infection in total in Tatarstan,” Patyashina summarised 2020. “The first peak of the disease was in May, the number of patients began to gradually reduce in late June. September became the calmest month when it comes to the incidence — 721 cases. The number of cases increased again in the middle of October.” The speaker is sure that the new outbreak was directly linked with the seasonal rise in the incidence of viral infections. By the way, nearly half of the cases were mild and asymptomatic.
“Only 3% of the patients had a severe case,” Patyashina said. One in four patients’ disease was complicated by pneumonia. The incidence among children remains low during the whole year. Its level was 8 times lower than those of adults. Moreover, the course of children’s disease was mild.”
The favourable epidemiological situation allowed resuming offline education in Tatarstan schools, colleges and universities on 1 September. Moreover, every educational establishment of our republic provided safe conditions to study.
“To make sure the instructions are followed, over 30,000 facilities were examined,” Patyashina claimed. “The total sum of fines was over 11 million rubles, the activity of 41 facilities was suspended. Our industrial enterprises turned out the most disciplined ones. The share of lawbreakers among them is 1,5%.”
By the way, health organisations, utility services, cafes and restaurants violated the peace. The speaker noted that significant improvements were also seen in the organisation of clinical laboratory diagnostics of COVID-19:
“If at the beginning of the pandemic we sent samples to the watchdog’s institutes, now we have 21 laboratories at our disposal that diagnose coronavirus considering all requirements of biological security.”
The head of the Tatarstan office of the watchdog considers mass vaccination of the republican residents against coronavirus as soon as possible as main task of this year.
Tatarstan residents began to receive vaccines more actively
The reduction in the incidence of all viral diseases by 29% except for the flu, viral infectious diseases and community-acquired pneumonia became the peculiarity of the last year.
“Wide restrictions, a big lack of unity of staff, intensified personal and public preventive measures influenced the situation with viral infections.”
For instance, the number of intestinal infections decreased twice. And there wasn’t registered any outbreak of collective infection among the population and staff for the first time in many years.
In 2020, approximately four times more labour migrants were vaccinated against measles than in 2019. Also, with the support of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, public funding to buy vaccines on epidemic grounds doubled. The most vulnerable people were protected against pneumococcal and meningococcal infections.
In 2020, it became possible to vaccine 15,000 people who were against vaccines, though the productivity of work with them reduced a bit due to low attendance of health establishments.
“Numbers in this work might have been better in six municipalities. I am asking health organisations to pay attention to this fact,” Patyashina concluded.
Water became tastier
But we shouldn’t forget that the consumer rights protection watchdog works not only with infections. So Patyashina thinks that the quality of drinking water is one of the crucial factors in the population’s health.
The number of water for the population has notably improved in the republic in the last 10 years. However, the share of non-standard samples in sanitary and chemical indicators in groundwater remains high enough and is 30%.
It is much more expensive and complicated to provide the rural population with good potable water than citizens.
“There were found more than 150 villages with a population of 160,000 people where water hardness is 2-5 times above the norm, while the content of iron is 10 times higher.”
In general, 8 out of 22 water treatment facilities in Tatarstan worked ineffectively in 2020.
Tatarstan wasn’t sad because of coronavirus
Head of the Russian watchdog Anna Popova claimed that Tatarstan residents weren’t in a bad mood because of coronavirus:
“Everything is accurately followed. You carefully stay tuned for the situation and require following all instructions”.
Popova thinks that Tatarstan began the new year with the lowest possible number of coronavirus outbreaks. Neither schools nor hospitals have had outbreaks. Popova believes that it is a unique case for such a big region in the Russian Federation.
“Today our daily number is 2-60 per 100,000 people. So Tatarstan has 2,” Popova said. “2, 2,6. It seems to me you haven’t gone above 3.”
Moreover, the average daily numbers of coronavirus cases in Russia are 15-20 per 100,000 people.
“Tatarstan’s economy didn’t stop even during the toughest period. Neither a lockdown nor additional bans were in mind. A smooth, systematic, smart work provided the result I am pleased to talk about,” Popova stressed.
The sanitary and epidemiological situation remained stable
President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov named 2020 an unprecedented year:
“The wide range of effective measures taken in the republic with the support of the government of the country, with cooperation with federal ministries, agencies and the central office of the watchdog allowed maintaining the stability of the sanitary and epidemiological situation. We managed to avoid a sudden rise in coronavirus cases and prevent outbreaks in workplaces.”
According to the president, a colossal workload fell on health care workers and the watchdog’ employees. The latter were always in the thick of the events, coordinated the work. Nearly every enterprise of Tatarstan were given clear instructions of the Tatarstan office of the agency. Control over the compliance with them made the business community change their activity and strictly meet sanitary requirements.
Rustam Minnikhanov reminded the audience that the republic will have to a big job to vaccinate residents against COVID-19. The president noted that Tatarstan has the necessary experience — a record high number of Tatatrstan residents were vaccinated against the flu last year — 61% of the population.
“All requirements and vaccination against coronavirus will be followed,” he noted.