A top Russian doctor reportedly plunged from a fifth-story window while on a conference call complaining to her superiors about a lack of proper medical equipment for those responding to the coronavirus outbreak at her hospital.
As The Sun reported, Dr. Yelena Nepomnyashchaya was raising concerns about treating coronavirus patients at her hospital amid what she called an “acute shortage” of personal protection equipment needed for doctors and nurses. This has been an issue in other countries hit hard by the outbreak as well, including the United States, Italy, and China.
The report claimed that Dr. Nepomnyashchaya is “fighting for her life” after the fall and that doctors are refusing to talk about her chances of survival. She was reportedly on a phone call with the Minister of Health for the Krasnoyarsk region on Saturday when she fell from her office window, and police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
While there was immediate speculation of foul play, the deputy head of Krasnoyarsk region’s government, Aleksey Podkorytov, instead suggested that the doctor may have purposely jumped out the window.
“So many things could have happened,” he said.
“It could have been because it was Spring, the overall stress, something in her family. It’s difficult to say what could have happened.”
He added that the doctor’s hospital has not been overwhelmed with coronavirus patients and had all the necessary equipment needed to handle patients when they did start to receive a higher influx.
The Russian government has been accused of targeting dissidents, including a Russian lawyer serving as a witness for a case against the U.S. government who was thrown from a window, as The Daily Beast reported.
The Russian government has also been accused of releasing misleading or false information about the coronavirus outbreak in the country, with NBC News noting that early estimates of only a few hundred cases across the entire country back in late March were met with skepticism. The report noted that the Russian government had conducted 140,000 tests at the time and reported just over 3,000 cases, despite the United States reporting more than 25,000 cases with a similar number of tests at the time.
“But while Russian officials attribute the low numbers to aggressive border controls and closings, some experts caution that the actual infection rates may be much higher, with the government of President Vladimir Putin intent on maintaining an image of calm authority, regardless of what may actually be happening on the ground,” the report noted.