Russia’s vaccination certificates reveal COVID-19 numbers up to five times higher than official statistics

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For the past three weeks, Moscow residents could be refused dine-in service at restaurants unless they presented an official QR code proving vaccination, recovery from COVID-19, or a recent, negative PCR test. These QR codes were issued along with certificates, which, as it turns out, are numbered based on encrypted statistics from the Russian Health Ministry’s official coronavirus registry. As part of a joint investigation with Holod Media and Mediazona, Meduza’s journalists studied these certificate numbers, which are issued by the government services portal Gosuslugi, and uncovered that Russia has registered as many as 29 million suspected cases of COVID-19 — a number that’s five times higher than the official statistics reported by the country’s operational headquarters for the fight against the coronavirus.

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