Public health is a convenient pretext for extending authoritarian controls.
- 72.7 Public Health
- 11.9 Financial
- 16 Fact-Based
Russia has a relatively weak score, with strong public health policy undone by weak financial support, limitations on press freedom, and spread of misinformation about the pandemic.
Russia was relatively strong in pre-pandemic preparedness but is not a wealthy country, and it scores near the median for hospital beds and healthcare quality and access to care.
- Debt/GDP ratio 14.6%
- GDP/capita $30,820
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 37.5
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 6
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 71.7
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 59.1
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Oct 1.)
Public Health Directives
Russia has had strong public health policy, owing to restrictions on social gatherings, although it does limit who can get tested and has little emergency healthcare spending related to COVID-19.
- Stay at home order 0
- Public gathering restrictions 0
- School closings 2
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 3
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $13.64
- Travel restrictions 3
- Tests/1,000 people 318.1
- Contact tracing 2
Russia’s financial response was significantly below the median; its debt support was strong, but its stimulus was small, and it had very little income support.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 3.4%
- Income support 1
- Debt forebearance 1
Russia scores low in this category, as it has propagated false information on COVID-19 and has greatly limited press freedom in response to the pandemic.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 2
- Press freedom 3
COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1
Russia has a relatively weak score in this category, with a low death rate that is counterbalanced by a very high case rate; limited communication of facts and restrictions on press freedom regarding COVID-19 raise concerns about the accuracy of the data.
- Total deaths 20,722
- Death rate per 100K 142
- Total cases 1,176,286
- Cases per 100K 8,060
- Percent of positive tests 2.2
- Change in positivity rates +0.1
|1||Jun 08||Retail and restaurants start to reopen (varies by region)||60.53|
|2||Jun 22||Final restrictions are lifted, including on gyms and restaurants||54.54|
|3||Sep 01||Schools reopen||33.11|
- Russia approves COVID-19 vaccine and moves toward manufacturing: Russia became the first country in the world to approve a vaccine, but the limited data with upon which the approval was based would typically be insufficient for other international regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Read More
- UN considers Sputnik V: The UN considers whether to accept Russia's vaccine for UN employees. The UN will send medical professionals to evaluate the legitimacy of the vaccine. Read More
- False news law limited press freedom: Press freedom in Russia has been severely curtailed by the passage of a law that makes spreading "false information" about COVID-19 punishable by up to five years in prison. The law is similar to those passed in Hungary and India. Read More
- Amendment allows Putin to stay in power: Russians voted in early July to pass a constitutional amendment that allows President Putin to serve a further two terms, keeping him in power until 2036, and consolidating his control of the country. Golos, an independent Russian election monitoring group, has condemned the vote, saying it received over 2,000 complaints of violations of democracy. Read More
- Government likely consolidating power through travel restrictions: Putin has been accused of using the pandemic to consolidate his power and control over the country. In addition to the constitutional amendment, campaigners have condemned the implementation of a new 'digital pass' system which requires Russians to get permission to travel by vehicle or public transport due to the pandemic. Read More
Compared with Other Arctic States
Per 1M 9,297
Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.
39.1United States 7,233,043
Per 1M 206,928
Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.
Per 1M 274
Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.
Per 1M 5,893
Despite being known for a relatively strong public healthcare system, Sweden has been hit hard with cases; the country’s lack of stay-at-home orders and school closures, limited testing, and few gathering restrictions overshadowed its financial support, reliance on facts, and accountability with an open press.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million