It came down to a simple equation: Too many people plus too little soap equals lice.
Give everyone a single bar of soap every three months, said one newspaper yesterday, and it's no wonder there are outbreaks of lice.
Children in Volgograd seemed to be suffering particularly, the weekly newspaper Sobesednik reported.
"This is not strange because soap is rationed and so is washing powder," said the newspaper, a weekly supplement to the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda. ''Not every mother has time to search the whole town for soap."
The council of ministers issued a warning to Ivanov's boss, minister Nikolai Lemayev.
"It was pointed out to (Lemayev) that it was necessary to undertake urgent measures to develop production of washing means and insure the full satisfaction of the population's demands in the near future," Tass said.
In other words: more soap, if you please.