A 36-year-old Russian journalist died from the coronavirus this week, authorities said on Thursday two days after her passing, drawing criticism for allegedly withholding the news.
Anastasia Petrova, chief editor of the Delovoy Interes business weekly in the city of Perm 1,400 kilometers east of Moscow, was hospitalized with pneumonia on March 24. Regional health authorities reportedly said that Petrova’s coronavirus diagnosis had not been confirmed until after her death Tuesday.
“Why was it kept quiet if it was known that she had coronavirus?” Perm region governor Dmitry Makhonin asked at a crisis center session Thursday. “It’s unacceptable to hide information from the public! We shouldn’t lie to people!”
Delovoy Interes, which translates as “Business Interest” from Russian, wrote Wednesday: “We were left without an editor, a colleague, a friend and someone very dear to us.”
“This is the darkest day in the history of Delovoy Interes. We did not believe it when doctors said they couldn’t save Nastya [and] waited for them to say it was an error,” it said.
In her last Facebook post on March 24, Petrova described her treatment as attentive and professional.
“When the intensivist looks thoughtfully at the printout of your analysis, it’s actually very scary,” she wrote.
The Perm region has reported 14 confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus, including one recovery and two deaths. Russia recorded 3,548 coronavirus cases and 30 deaths after its biggest one-day surge in infections Thursday.
Some medical professionals have questioned the reliability of Russia’s coronavirus data because of what they say is unreliable quality of testing. Public polling has also said that more Russians mistrust official information surrounding coronavirus than fully trust it.