The "authorities" of the "Donetsk republic" beat their brains out showing the people how they care about them. "Officials" tirelessly boast of some mythical achievements - one day they launch enterprises, another day they raise salaries. But their concern for the health of the population is more clearly manifested. Even the "border" with Ukraine was closed, so that, God forbid, the terrible coronavirus was not brought into the "republic". Even more - the universal immunization of the population was announced.
In order to get the better of the Ukrainians who remained behind the "curb" of the occupied part of Donbas, they announced the start of vaccination back in January. However, there was some discrepancy with the supply of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Either the expected consignment was not received, or it had to be disposed of due to improper storage. But when the people ran to sign up for vaccination, it turned out that the mass immunization in the "DNR" ended with the televaccination of "head" Pushilin and a small number of state employees and the military.
Those who had an irresistible desire to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, believed in the effectiveness of the Russian vaccine and, most importantly, had the opportunity - went to Rostov to receive the first dose. At the same time, they hoped that they would be able to get the second one in their city. At the very least, that's what they were told on TV screens. But after the interim period between the first dose of the vaccine and the second one passed, it turned out that the second component can only be obtained in Rostov, at the point where the first injection was given. It is not the protocol, it is the fact that Sputnik V was still absent in Donetsk.
Of course, there was no limit to the indignation. It turns out that they were deceived again, saying that the vaccine will definitely arrive in the "DNR" in June and they will not have to stand at the border on the way to Rostov and back for several hours.
The election campaign to the State Duma of the Russian Federation, which somehow began in Donetsk, brought good news to the residents of the "republic". The "authorities" of the "people's republic" announced on July 28 that the long-awaited vaccine had arrived in Donetsk with the assistance of the All-Russian United Russia political party. But they clarified that this is not Sputnik V, but Sputnik Light. Well, sort of a lightweight formula.
They put the chief doctor of the "DNR" on the TV so that he could talk about the benefits of this drug. Allegedly, this vaccine even has some advantage over the Sputnik V vaccine, as it is a single-component. That is, it does not require re-vaccination. A total of 86 thousand doses are expected to immunize people of priority groups, especially at risk of infection. But everyone interested can line up. Of course, the people, who have been fed with promises and hopes for a brighter future for seven years, were in no hurry to rejoice.
Sputnik Light has indeed arrived in the "republic". Moreover, even those over 60 could be vaccinated. Although it was initially noted that Sputnik Light is not recommended for people of this age category. Apparently, Moscow decided that the Donetsk pensioners are fundamentally different from the Russian ones and made new recommendations, which they instructed the "DNR" health minister to voice.
"In accordance with the updated temporary guideline of the Ministry of Health of Russia on the procedure for vaccination against COVID-19, it is allowed to use the Sputnik Light vaccine for patients over 60 years old. Corresponding changes have been made to the instructions for the medical use of the vaccine", - Oleksandr Oprishchenko informed the residents of the "people's republic".
The "minister" also clarified that 51 vaccination points have been opened in the "DNR", and 2 mobile points are operating in remote areas. He also promised that citizens who have undergone immunization would be issued a document with QR code, which can be presented to whom it may concern even outside the "republic". Of course, "outside" is only in Russia.
However, the people are not in a hurry to be immunized with this miracle vaccine. Because, if not everyone, then many have the Internet, and the information that Sputnik Light did not receive approval for use from the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization became known before "minister" Oprishchenko told about its merits from TV. And the "updated temporary guideline" that allows people over 60 years old to use the vaccine, helped to finally doubt its effectiveness.
Meanwhile, the Donetsk residents did not have to doubt the need for vaccination for long. On August 4, restrictions began to operate in the Rostov oblast, according to which entry to administrative institutions is prohibited without a vaccination certificate.
The new rules also apply to the residents of the "LDNR". It turns out that now unvaccinated citizens of the "republics" cannot visit banks, post offices and migration services, where they go to obtain Russian documents.
"They do not consider us as people at all, they mock at us as they wish", "A person should have the right to choose, but they simply do not leave it to us", "Experiments are set on people, but the majority is silent", - the Donetsk residents are indignant. After all, in fact, they are forced to be vaccinated with a dubious drug in this way.
However, indignation is indignation, but there is no choice. In this regard, the number of people "willing" to be vaccinated is growing rapidly in the "young republic".
Situation with the incidence rate began to deteriorate sharply. Talks about sick family members is heard with increasing frequency, and the figures of the daily increase in infected people, posted by the "Ministry of Health" on its website, are getting worse. It is even surprising that the "officials" from the "Ministry of Health" were allowed to publish statistics on morbidity and mortality. Although everyone understands that the real picture is much worse.
A lot of different rumors were caused by the information that a large group of doctors from Russia arrived in Donetsk in early August. Someone says that these are military doctors and this is for the next military escalation. Someone suggests that local doctors cannot cope with covid patients, so a "rescue assault force" from the Russian Federation was needed.
It is known that the Russians were assigned to various medical institutions of the city. 20 doctors are now in the "First Republican Hospital", which is located on the territory of the railway administration hospital. 15 doctors work in the Donetsk Regional Clinical Territorial Medical Association (Kalinin Hospital), 10 - in the medical and sanitary administration. 10 Russian doctors were sent to the hospital for veterans in the Gusak Institute of Emergency and Reconstructive Surgery (Regional Central Clinical Hospital) to help local doctors.
The "Minister" of Health reported on the air of local TV channels on August 7 that the second batch of Sputnik Light was arriving in the "DNR": "We expect the next batch of Sputnik Light coronavirus vaccine on August 9. In this regard, the Ministry of Health is going to increase the number of vaccination points". The promised vaccine in the amount of 90 thousand doses really arrived in Donetsk on time.
Everything is portrayed so that there are really no problems with obtaining the vaccine in the uncontrolled territory of Donetsk oblast, and the "authorities" have fulfilled their promise regarding "mass immunization of the population". However, I did not find figures on the number of vaccinated in any source. Does the amount of the brought vaccine correspond to the number of vaccinated people? And can we talk about "mass immunization" if even the figures announced by the "authorities" show that only 5-6% of the population can be immunized with the imported vaccine?...
Why, then, are the rates of disease and mortality so high?
There are various assumptions: from the ineffectiveness of the Sputnik Light vaccine (vaccinated people get sick) to the wrong methods of treatment.
Summer holidays are another important factor in the daily increase in infected patients. It is known that many Donetsk residents love the Crimea since pre-war times and do not change their traditions even during the period of quarantine restrictions. And this year, the number of tourists from the occupied territories on the Black Sea coast has increased significantly due to the inaccessibility of many low-budget foreign destinations. If the resorts of the Krasnodar Krai introduced mandatory tests for coronavirus or vaccination certificates, then this was not required in the Crimean direction.
Meanwhile, it is already known today that 20% of deaths from coronavirus in the Crimea for the entire pandemic occurred in August. This indicates that the critical situation regarding coronavirus in Donetsk is still far cry from its peak. And the massive Miner's Day celebrations will fructify in a couple of weeks.
The numbers of cases and deaths in the "DNR" on the website of the "ministry" of health are different every day, but equally terrible. For example, 491 cases of COVID-19 and 28 deaths were recorded over the day of August 10. The number of cases slightly decreased the next day - 406 cases and only 3 people died. But 196 cases of pneumonia were recorded, of which 120 people needed ALV.
Relatives of pneumonia patients say that artificial lung ventilation devices are in increasingly short supply in Donetsk and an ambulance takes patients to other cities where there are currently free ones - to Dokuchaievsk, Khartsyzsk or Komsomolske.
The numbers of the sick are inexorably growing day by day. 520 cases of diseases were identified in the "DNR" on August 23, and on August 24 - 580 new cases of COVID-19 and 201 - pneumonia.
Against this background, the "authorities" of the "people's republic" did not consider it necessary to cancel all the mass events planned for the City Day and the Miner's Day. The "republic" partied for two days. People listened to jazz on the banks of the Kalmius, watched performances of amateur art groups on the Lenin Square, young people were gathered in Shcherbakov Park for a concert with the participation of some Russian stars, and in the evening, a grand show with salutes and fireworks was organized.
I think that a new wave of morbidity awaits the occupied territory after all this.
Liusia Molchanova, Donetsk, for OstroV