Support The Moscow Times!

1 in 4 Russians Believe They’ve Had Coronavirus – Poll

Russia is already among the world’s most-affected countries with nearly 5.1 million officially confirmed cases and more than 120,000 deaths. Semyon Antonov / TASS

Nearly one in four Russians say they have had coronavirus though most have not been officially diagnosed, according to an independent survey published Wednesday.

Only 7% of those polled told the Levada Center polling agency that they had obtained an official diagnosis after contracting the coronavirus. Another 17% said they had not been diagnosed but nonetheless believe they suffered from Covid-19.

The combined percentage, which in solid figures equates to 34.5 million people, could signal a dramatic undercount in the official tally of Covid-19 cases nationwide. 

Russia is already among the world’s most-affected countries with nearly 5.1 million officially confirmed cases and more than 120,000 deaths. The country’s total excess fatality count since the start of the pandemic, seen as a more reliable indicator of the virus’ human cost, stands above 460,000.

Also in Wednesday’s Levada survey, 11% of respondents — roughly the same figure floated by the Russian government — said they have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Earlier Levada polling showed a majority of Russians, or 62%, unwilling to get vaccinated with their country’s Sputnik V shot.

Authorities have openly admitted to slow public take-up of the highly touted Sputnik V and two other government-approved jabs amid widely entrenched vaccine skepticism. Despite official estimates that Russia will vaccinate 70% of its population by this fall, the current pace of vaccination suggests that target could shift to late 2022 or early 2023.

The Levada survey also revealed that 55% of Russian respondents are not afraid of catching Covid-19, compared with 42% of those who are.

A related Ipsos survey published last week showed Russians being one of the nationalities least-scared of the virus — with only Israelis placing higher — out of the 28 countries that took part in the poll.

Levada conducted its in-person survey among 1,620 respondents across 50 Russian regions between May 20-26.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.