A live stream with chief of Rospotrebnadzor was organized by UNIVER TV, Kazan University’s TV outlet.
Here are some of Patyashina’s answers about the pertinent issues of today.
On common cold and flu
We have been expecting waves of common cold and flu since September. Usually it happens in October, but this time it’s been on the rise since 10 September. We are now having respiratory infection levels at 60 percent over the epidemic threshold, mostly thanks to more watchful attitude from people themselves.
We are not afraid of common cold, but we are afraid of flu, because it’s a serious infectious disease with extremely fast onset and possible heavy complications and prolonged treatment. It’s high time to make a flu vaccine.
In the past five years, we have been steadily increasing the number of flu vaccinations. If a person is not vaccinated, it’s very difficult to avoid lethal complications in a patient with fast onset. This year, the vaccine has strains which have not been present in our population for some time. It’s also important to make a shot because combined flu and coronavirus infections can be very serious.
On vaccination among students
Students are a category to be worked with. Only 15 percent of them have received flu shots, and we need 70 percent! We hope they will join the ranks of the vaccinated.
On face masks
The face mask regime in Tatarstan is one of the most rigorous in the nation. As a result, we have relatively low ratios of the spread of COVID. There are no plans to further stiffen face mask regulations.
On regulations for educational institutions
Students must wear masks at all times, and teachers must wear them outside of classrooms. In kindergartens and secondary schools, kids don’t have to wear masks. All service employees must wear them, as well as parents who accompany children to school. There are no limitations on the number of students per square meter of classroom.
On distance education
We are not seeing any serious problems with the educational process of all the rules are complied with. There are currently no reasons to shift to distance education. Everybody will continue face-to-face studies until the end of year 2020.
On COVID vaccination
However trite it may sound, but mask wearing has proven its effectiveness. You have to wash hands often and to use antiseptics after public transport, after arriving to work or home. Of course, airborne contagiousness is very high. It would be wise to think twice before visiting guests or going to some mass gatherings. Restrictions for people aged over 65 are also necessary. It’s preferable to warn your parents against going to shops or hospitals unless absolutely necessary. We have to abide by this thinking through autumn and winter. And let’s see what happens in spring 2021. I really hope we won’t have a second iteration of March 2020.
Source text: Rufina Gimaletdinova
Photo: Alexander Kuznetsov
Translation: Yury Nurmeev