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Classified Document Published: COVID-19 Hits Vitebsk Region

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Classified Document Published: COVID-19 Hits Vitebsk Region
Photo: reuters

Journalists have "leaked" data on coronavirus tests from five major medical institutions.

The zerkalo.io website has obtained data on coronavirus tests from five major medical institutions in the Vitebsk region. The figures show how the number of positive results has risen and how people of all ages fall ill. We previously published similar data for Minsk.

What is the data?

The source handed over some tables to journalists. They contain data on COVID-19 tests from five health organisations in Vitebsk and the region over several months. Here they are:

Vitebsk Regional Centre for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health;

Vitebsk Regional Infectious Diseases Hospital;

Vitebsk Regional Maternity Hospital;

Vitebsk Regional Centre for Dermato-Venereology and Cosmetology;

Vitebsk City Central Polyclinic.

According to the documents, these five places accepted COVID-19 tests from Vitebsk hospitals and polyclinics as well as from district centres.

Each test has the patient's name, date of birth, date of sample collection, address and contact number. There is also a result - positive or negative.

We contacted several people from the document on the numbers given. They confirmed that they had indeed tested positive for COVID-19 on the dates mentioned.

How many people fell ill?

We analysed data from 25 August to 5 October (this is the period with information for all five organisations). The records show that 46,787 tests were done during that time; 18,604 were positive (40%).

We counted the number of positive tests that were taken on certain days. Here's the result:

The lows in the graph are the weekends. Apparently, on Saturdays and especially on Sundays, there were fewer tests and fewer positive results.

At the same time, the number of positive tests gradually increased. According to the documents, from August 30 to September 5, COVID-19 was tested positive 1,464 times. From September 27 to October 3, there were already 5,312 positive tests. In just one month, the number of positive tests increased 3.6 times.

We cannot compare the data from the received documents with the figures from the official summaries of the Ministry of Health and draw any conclusions. All because we take into account the tests that people take on a certain day. And we do not know what figure the ministry takes into account in its daily reports.

However, we can put the official and 'in-house' data by day on the same graph. Note that the Ministry of Health publishes summaries for the whole of Belarus, while the Vitebsk epidemiologists only consider their region.

What do we know about the contracted people?

The data received shows mostly middle-aged and elderly people fall ill. Most of those tested positive are 31 to 60 years old.

There are children on the records as well. Positive tests are among 52 one-year-olds; 78 patients are 12 months old.

There are two 100-year-olds, one 104-year-old, and a patient born in 1913 (if the data is correct, she is now 108 years old). The medical records do not say anything about how seriously ill they were.

There is no information about the patients' places of work or study. Separately, those referred from the "MIA" (probably referring to the MIA polyclinic in Vitebsk) are noted. This section has more than 100 positive tests in 42 days.

The medics also recorded the diagnosis and the anamnesis of the patient. However, these columns were filled in different ways in different institutions. The diagnoses included: ARI and ARVI, alleged COVID-19, pneumonia, anosmia, "examination", "travels abroad", "for the army service", and even "alcohol-related coma".

Pneumonia together with a positive test for COVID-19 has been reported in at least a thousand cases (about 6% of all positive tests).

We have no information on possible fatal outcomes.