The authors of the study believe that government measures and the responsibility of citizens saved about 80 thousand lives.
Photo: Evgenia Novozhenina / Reuters
Experts at the Higher School of Economics conducted a study that suggested how many people could die (and how many lives were theoretically saved) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in Russia.
In the article “How many COVID-19 deaths could Russian society escape”, the authors concluded that if the authorities and the population ignored the epidemic and didn’t take the necessary measures, 3.8 million people could potentially become victims of the pandemic. The authors themselves call this estimate overvalued. It could be real if people lost the ability to learn and rationally process information. The authors came to this indicator using a logistic curve, which completely did not take into account the influence of the healthcare system on the spread of the virus.
At the same time, the authors make a reservation that they proceeded in this model from the fact that the pace of the epidemic’s development all the time remains at the same level as in the first 20 days.
There is another epidemiological (SEIR) model, which directly takes into account the capacity of the healthcare system (the number of accessible hospital beds, mechanical ventilation devices). In accordance with it, if the number of sick at the same time exceeds the capacity of the system, then the number of deaths will increase at an accelerated pace.
With this calculation, the authors indicate that in the case of the introduction of minimal restrictions in Russia (as, for example, in Brazil), the number of victims could be more than 80 thousand people. According to the HSE, these measures were helped by measures taken by the government and responsible behavior of citizens who went to minimize contacts and self-isolation, as well as enterprises that switched to work remotely.