Disinfo: Soviet Russia fought much worse epidemics than coronavirus

Summary

In 1960, the authorities of the Soviet Union were able to prevent the spread of the smallpox epidemic (which was feared that it was an epidemic with no cure), through swift measures that contained the epidemic and spared the country a humanitarian catastrophe.

Will countries today be able to tackle Coronavirus, as the Soviet Union did 60 years ago?

Disproof

A recurrent narrative to depict Russia as better suited for combatting the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 2019-nCoV coronavirus is a newly detected virus that is still being closely studied in order to know its nature and later hopefully find a vaccine and cure for it. To speed things up, scientists are even turning to untested classes of vaccines, in which scientists think that Human trials could begin as early in April, with 35 companies and academic institutions around the world joining the efforts.

The smallpox vaccine, on the other hand, was successfully developed and introduced in 1796. It is even known that smallpox ravaged several countries, including Russia, during the early part of the 20th century and was even worse during the misery that accompanied and followed the First World War.

With the establishment of the USSR in 1917, the new government took steps to control smallpox, and vaccination was made mandatory in a decree signed by V.I. Lenin in April 1919, and in 1924, the Soviet vaccination law was modified to require vaccination in infancy and the revaccination of teenagers (Kravchenko, 1970).

Nevertheless, smallpox continued with severe epidemics in Russia in 1931-1933 and during the outbreaks reported in 1950-1952, 1955, 1956 and 1958 up until 1960.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 190
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 16/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, vaccination, Virus / bacteria threat
  • Outlet: RT web Arabic, moragboonpress, yemenvibe, amnewskw, sahafahnet, nabd, ibb-press, yemen-now, kol-masr, akhbarlibya, bbcnews1, headtopics
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