200329 Russia coronavirus March 29

I suppose it was only to be expected that people would start spreading paranoid conspiracy theories.

One of these is about Russia. Apparently there’s a lack of information about the spread of coronavirus in that country, and certain people are questioning the reason for that.

Mrs Mike’s grandfather, who is a World War II veteran and has absolutely no affection for Russia at all, was on the phone to her yesterday, suggesting that the Russians had something to do with its spread.

He pointed to the (alleged) use of the Novichok nerve agent to attack enemies of Russia in the UK, nearly two years ago, as evidence of Russian germ warfare.

It’s total nonsense, of course.

Russia has supplied figures.

Apparently that country has 1,534 reported cases, and eight deaths.

The question is whether we believe such small figures. The Russian state apparatus has something of a reputation for being economical with its facts, when it chooses to be.

But that’s no reason to suggest the Russians are behind the spread of the pandemic.

Remember, it began in Wuhan, which is in China.

And Novichok was a chemical agent – not a disease.

There is absolutely no evidence to link it to Russia.

By all means, let’s talk about the international implications. But let’s be reasonable about it, please.