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Alexander Shulepov, an ambulance doctor in the Voronezh region of western Russia, complained in an April 22 article on social media about the shortage of medical supplies and being forced to work despite positive tests for COVID-19.
Ten days later, he fell from a hospital window in mysterious circumstances, local media reported, making him the third Russian doctor to treat coronavirus patients in the past 10 days .
Shulepov, 37, survived falling from a second-story window, but suffered a skull fracture and is now in serious condition. The other two doctors are said to have died.
The falls are perceived suspiciously by many Russians, who have a tradition of targeting and eliminating critics, including several who have mysteriously died to death in recent years.
Shulepov’s colleague, paramedic Alexander Kosyakin, and representatives from the regional coronavirus task force, confirmed over the weekend that Shulepov fell by the window, according to media sources Meduza and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. The incident occurred at the Novusmansky district hospital where Shulepov worked and was treated for COVID-19 in the city of Novaya Usman.
Shulepov was reportedly hospitalized on April 22 after being tested positive for COVID-19, but was due to be released shortly after his last test returned negative.
On the day of his admission, Shulepov and Kosyakin published a video in which they complained that their boss had forced Shulepov and his colleagues to continue working together even after his positive result.
But Shulepov returned to his statement three days later, on suspicion of having been threatened with doing so, claiming in another video that he was “in an emotional state” when he made his first request.
Shulepov is the third doctor in Russia to fall out of the window in mysterious circumstances during the coronavirus epidemic.
Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, acting chief doctor at a veterans hospital in Krasnoyarsk city in Siberia, died on Friday of her injuries from falling from her fifth-floor office window on April 25.
A local Krasnoyarsk television station reported on April 25 that Nepomnyashchaya, 47, had just finished a telephone conversation with the regional health minister about the transformation of one of his hospital buildings into a ward for treating patients. of coronavirus when it fell. Nepomnyashchaya would be strongly opposed to this idea. Reports also indicate that she complained to superiors about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for her and her staff. Her obituary said she was a 20-year veteran of the regional health system.
A day earlier, on April 24, Natalya Lebedeva, the 48-year-old head of the Zvyozdny ambulance center near Moscow, died “as a result of an accident,” according to a statement from the Moscow hospital. She had been hospitalized with COVID-19.
Media Moskovsky Komsomolets and REN TV, quoting colleagues from Lebedeva, said that she fell from a high window and may have committed suicide after being accused by her superiors of infecting several of colleagues with coronavirus. The police did not confirm the information.
The Voronezh region, where Shulepov is located, reported 636 cases of coronavirus on Monday, less than 1% of Russia’s 145,268 confirmed cases, the Moscow Times reported. The news site reported that at least 41 doctors and patients at the region’s largest hospital were infected with COVID-19. At least 1,280 people across the country have died from the disease.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin said in mid-April that the coronavirus situation was completely under control, an epidemic forced him and regional authorities to impose strict social distancing measures.
Some observers have said that Russian authorities may underreport the number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases and deaths due to low testing rates.