The ARVI season in Russia is in full swing. Everyone now probably has people around them who are sick, have just gotten sick, or are about to get sick.
But most importantly, the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 has sharply increased. In the last week alone, according to the Federal Operational Headquarters to combat the new coronavirus infection, the increase was as much as 48%. Accordingly, the number of hospitalized people is growing.
In Moscow, they reopened the Covid hospital in Sokolniki, which had been empty for several months, and in the White House, without waiting for instructions from above, everyone was required to wear masks just in case. What are the prospects that self-isolation and mask regime will return to us, MK found out.
A sharp jump in the incidence of coronavirus infection in the country has been observed since the beginning of autumn. Between September 11 and 17 in Russia, 1,973 people were hospitalized with severe Covid. 590 of them are in Moscow, one of them died. For comparison: from August 14 to August 20, 346 people were hospitalized in the capital, and this is 67% less than over the past week. In total, in Moscow for the period September 11–17, the number of Covid cases was 3,040, which is a third more than the week before. In general, an increase in Covid incidence has already been noticed in 70 regions, and in 13 of them it is faster than the average growth rate in the country.
In addition, there is an increase in seasonal respiratory viral infections. That's why there are a lot of people coughing and sneezing everywhere.
Rospotrebnadzor has so far denied the arrival in Russia of a new supermutant coronavirus BA.2.86, called “Pirola” (it was first noted in Israel, then began to spread throughout Europe, Canada, and the USA). It is different in that it has more than 30 new mutations in the spike protein. Almost immediately he was listed by the WHO as "under observation". The reason is not only a large number of mutations, but also an evolutionary leap, which, according to virologists, is comparable to the one that resulted in the birth of the Omicron line. And although scientists from other countries have concluded that its infectious potential is not as great as initially thought, Russian epidemiologists still consider it more contagious than previous variants. “In the Russian Federation, there are tests for its detection, as well as drugs for effective treatment,” Rospotrebnadzor optimistically states.
At the same time, Russian epidemiologists emphasize that Pirole is, of course, far from Omicron: it is unlikely that a new super mutant can as deftly bypass the immune defense created by previous infections or booster vaccines. Therefore, in the United States, for example, a new booster vaccination campaign has begun. Back in July, Russian authorities proposed abandoning vaccination against coronavirus infection altogether.
The American agency CDC (analogue of Rospotrebnadzor) predicts that in the upcoming autumn-winter season there will be no less respiratory diseases and hospitalizations than last year. And perhaps there will be even more. It is also expected that the flu, which did not bother us much during the pandemic years, will gain new strength and recoup in full. But there is no need to be afraid of a sharp surge in the incidence of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which was recorded throughout the world last year: its spread will not go beyond the usual limits. Still, the CDC projects that the additional burden of COVID-19 during the mild season for the three respiratory diseases could generate greater demand on hospitals, which could result in a greater hospital load than the severe influenza and RSV season before COVID-19. So the influenza-Covid-RSV tridemic will still happen again in the coming season, although perhaps in a light version.
As the therapist, famous military doctor Alexei Vodovozov notes, there is no reason to be surprised at the growth of coronavirus infection: “He had no intention of leaving anywhere. Yes, it has actively mutated and will continue to mutate, picking up the keys to the immunity of those who have been ill and/or vaccinated. And sometimes he will succeed. They don’t seem to be expecting a new “Delta” or “Omicron” of the first wave, because there are still a lot of immune people on the planet, and it was these variants of the coronavirus that were especially sensitive and carried away with them. Cases and hospitalizations are currently on the rise around the world. This is also due to the “Pirola” option. So far, this has not translated into greater mortality; only morbidity and hospitalizations are increasing. In the States, according to the CDC, from 2021 to 2022, mortality fell by 47%. In our country, they also recognized the increase, despite the virtual absence of testing, and even reopened the Covid hospital in Sokolniki. It is possible that the rest may be needed, because people don’t give a damn about anti-epidemic measures - in the literal sense of the word. We’ll have to put on the respirator again, otherwise the mobile contingent of permanently ill but not sitting at home citizens will be rewarded with something.”
An increase in incidence is now being recorded, but there is no reason to panic, says the famous infectious disease doctor, Professor Nikolai Malyshev: “Of course, the introduction of a mask regime cannot be ruled out, but now there is no reason for this. In any case, if this happens, these will be targeted decisions made by local regions. In Moscow, an increase is indeed being registered, and an increase in hospitalizations: in one of the hospitals, for example, over the past three weeks, the number of people hospitalized with Covid has increased five times. But besides Covid, there are many other seasonal respiratory infections. Nowadays there are many very simple cases - these are, first of all, runny noses of various etiologies. There is a lot of rhinovirus infection, and with complications. There is very little flu yet.”
— How difficult is it to resume the work of covidariums after a long period of inactivity?
— The process has already been tested, so there shouldn’t be any difficulties. In Sokolniki everything is prepared in advance, so I think there will be no problems.
— Is it possible to repeat the situation that was at the beginning of the pandemic?
“The situation we experienced in 2020–2021 will definitely not happen again. Now the coronavirus infection is much easier. And although there may be more patients, their condition is generally better.
...Experts note that the peak season for ARVI, coronavirus and influenza will most likely be in October-November. And God protects those who are protected. Remember to wash your hands often, especially after being in public places and before eating. Avoid visiting crowded places. And if you are sick, stay home.
Return to the mask