A Russian tour company boss has lost her job after she was caught coaching desperate sun-lovers how to cheat Covid-19 tests so they can go on holiday.
Katerina Semyonova, 30, manager of Anex Tour, told holidaymakers how to use a disinfecting throat spray to avoid positive Covid tests.
She sparked fury after telling how clients from Krasnoyarsk had used Miramistin spray to reverse initial positive PCR tests results.
"I just told them to pour Miramistin everywhere – in the mouth, nose, so the test showed some other result,” she posted.
“This worked: they passed the test again, it was negative.”
Tourists had flown to a Red Sea vacation in Egypt even though the initial result was positive, she said.
As death tolls from Covid-19 soared in major Russian cities, one critic said: “She should be punished for this.”
Another Krasnoyarsk Telegram-channel Bal Debyutantok warned: "According to medicine and common sense, the tour operator should require both the client and spouse to self-quarantine.
"Instead, they flew to Egypt.
“Then we wonder where we got a third wave and clogged hospitals.”
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The company said that the manager had been fired after an outpouring of anger.
The row comes amid claims of a thriving black market in fake Covid-19 jab certificates in Russia where there has been a high level of vaccine hesitancy.
Doctors in Siberia have also been warning that it is too late to avert new coronavirus doom by boosting vaccinations.
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On Monday Russia recorded a death toll of 611, with 124 fatalities in Moscow, and 110 in St Petersburg, amid a surge in the Delta variant.
There have been claims that the daily figures are significant undercounts.
Doctors in Irkutsk – a large region in Siberia – warned that the health system was collapsing.
Locals complained that hospitals are full.
A statement from doctors said: “We are dealing with the third wave of Covid.
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“Even acceleration of mass vaccination will not save us from the consequences of… people dying from Covid.
“We now need the most drastic measures.”
Many regions have started compulsory vaccination programmes.
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Meanwhile, there has been criticism of mass events going ahead without Covid-19 precautions including concerts and school graduations.
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