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Officials in Kaliningrad only count 65 and older COVID cases

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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Cooking The Numbers? Locals In Russia's Kaliningrad Say Coronavirus Testing Stopped In Bid To Show Fewer Cases

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KALININGRAD, Russia -- The official chart of new coronavirus cases for the western Russian exclave of Kaliningrad looks encouraging. In May and June, between 40 and 50 new cases were being reported daily, while in July and early August, the numbers were between 10 and 20, even as the region took significant steps to restart its economy. According to the official numbers, 45 people in the region have died since the pandemic began, eight of them since July 1. But some locals have raised the alarm that the rosy picture is being created artificially by a sharp reduction in the number of tests being administered. "In my opinion, the authorities simply don't want to ruin the nascent tourism season, which they have worked so hard to get going," Kaliningrad journalist Oksana Shevchenko said. "They don't want to close everything down again." "All these figures are simply fiction," she asserted. Shevchenko drew this conclusion not only from her own reporting on the pandemic in this city of about 480,000, capital of the Baltic Sea exclave with a total population of about 1 million, but also from her own experience. Late last month, she developed symptoms including headaches, a fever of up to 38.4 degrees Celsius, and difficulty breathing.

After trying unsuccessfully to reach her neighborhood public clinic by telephone, she went there in person. "After an hour and a half of waiting, I was able to see a doctor," she recalled. "She listened to my lungs, looked in my throat and sent me home. She said my lungs were clear and advised me to buy an over-the-counter antiviral medication. She told me not to worry." Several days later, Shevchenko lost her sense of smell. A second trip to the clinic produced the same result -- she was told to go home and take some cough medicine. At the urging of her mother and after spending nearly a week in her apartment with her three children, Shevchenko paid for a coronavirus test at a private clinic. On July 28, it came back positive and she was rushed to Kaliningrad's main infectious-diseases hospital. When her local clinic learned about her diagnosis, they contacted her to request the test results. "I said to them, "How did it happen that I went to you for help and you sent me away? I have three children and now they are home alone and I'm in the hospital,'" Shevchenko told RFE/RL. "And she said: 'Yes, it turned out inconveniently. But we have an order only to give tests to patients older than 65 or with clear signs of pneumonia.'"

It has been known for some time that Russia is cooking the COVID books. This is additional anecdotal evidence.
 
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