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Alexander Shulepov, doctor at an ambulance unit in the Voronezh region of Russia, complained in an April 22 post on social media about the shortage of medical supplies and was forced to work, despite being positive for COVID-19 .
Ten days later, he fell from a hospital window under mysterious circumstances, local media reported, making him the third Russian doctor who treats coronavirus patients to suffer a similar fate in the past 10 days.
Shulepov, 37, survived the fall of a second-floor window but suffered a fractured skull and is now in serious condition. The other two doctors died.
Falls are being viewed with suspicion by many in Russia, who have a history of targeting and eliminating critics, including several who mysteriously fallen to their deaths in recent years.
Shulepov's colleague, ambulance paramedic Alexander Kosyakin and representatives of the regional coronavirus task force, confirmed over the weekend that Shulepov fell out of a window, according to press reports. Meduza and Free Europe Radio / Freedom Radio. The incident happened at Novousmansky district hospital, where Shulepov worked and was being treated by COVID-19 in the city of Novaya Usman.
Shulepov was reportedly hospitalized on April 22 after testing positive for COVID-19, but was scheduled to be released soon after the last test was negative.
On the day he was admitted, Shulepov and Kosyakin published a video in which they complained that their boss forced Shulepov and his colleagues to continue working together, even after the positive test result.
“The chief physician is forcing us to work. What do we do in this situation? ”Shulepov said in the video.
Shulepov withdrew his statement three days later, amid suspicions that he was threatened, saying in another video that he was in "an emotional state" when he made his initial claim.
Shulepov is the third doctor in Russia to fall out of a window under mysterious circumstances during the coronavirus outbreak.
On Friday, Yelena Nepomnyashchaya, the interim chief physician at a war veterans hospital in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, died of injuries sustained as a result of the fall of her fifth-floor office window on April 25.
A local Krasnoyarsk television station reported on April 25, Nepomnyashchaya, 47, had just talked on a conference call with the regional health minister about turning one of his hospital buildings into a wing to treat coronavirus patients when it fell. Nepomnyashchaya was reported to be strongly against the idea. The reports also said that she had complained to superiors about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for her and her team. Her obituary said she was a 20-year veteran of the regional health system.
The day before, on April 24, Natalya Lebedeva, the 48-year-old head of the ambulance center in Zvyozdny, near Moscow, died "as a result of an accident," according to a Moscow hospital. declaration. She had been hospitalized with COVID-19.
News Moskovsky Komsomolets and REN TV, citing Lebedeva's colleagues, said she fell from a high window and may have killed herself after accusations by her superiors that she had infected several of her colleagues with the coronavirus. The police did not confirm the reports.
The Voronezh region, where Shulepov is located, registered 636 cases of coronavirus as of Monday, less than 1% of Russia's 145,268 confirmed cases, according to 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 of the disease.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin said in mid-April that the coronavirus situation was completely under control, an outbreak forced him and regional authorities to impose strict measures of social distance.
Some observers said that Russian authorities may be underreporting the number of coronavirus cases and deaths from COVID-19 because of a low test rate.