The life expectancy of russians at birth was reduced by almost 2 years in 2020 due to the pandemic of coronavirus, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health published on Tuesday.
Since 2003, this indicator has been increasing progressively and reached 73.3 years in 2019, before falling sharply to 71.5 years between January and December 2020.
According to the ministry, this decrease is explained by an excess of deaths caused by covid-19, which poses “one of the greatest challenges” for the Russian health system.
In mid-April, the Minister of Health, Mikhail Murashko, acknowledged that the pandemic had had “negative demographic consequences” and had caused a decrease in life expectancy.
Last week, President Vladimir Putin set a goal of reaching a life expectancy of 78 years by 2030, while describing the country’s demographic situation as “alarming.”
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry also confirmed that in 2020 the country had experienced a 17.9% increase in mortality compared to the previous year.
The Russian government is accused of minimizing the consequences of the epidemic, counting only the deaths whose main cause, confirmed by autopsy, is the coronavirus.
By the end of February, the Russian statistical agency, Rosstat, had reported more than 224,000 deaths related to the virus, while the government officially records only 108,588 deaths as of Tuesday.
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