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Source: Russian Federation Government

Agenda: main results of operation amid the coronavirus infections and immediate priorities

Opening remarks by Mikhail Mishustin

Report by Tatyana Golikova on the main results of operation amid the coronavirus infection and immediate priorities 

The meeting was held via videoconference.

Excerpts from the transcript:

Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, colleagues.

Meeting of the Government Coordination Council to control the incidence of novel coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation

Today we will discuss the spread of the coronavirus infection. The situation is objectively improving; we are past the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. In particular, the increase in the number of new coronavirus cases recorded yesterday is the lowest so far, no more than 1 percent. This means that we can hold fewer meetings on the epidemiological situation. Before, the Coordination Council met almost every day. Now one meeting per week will be enough to deal with the current issues. 

But this does not mean we can relax. We must continue to monitor developments, identify new patients and promptly provide medical assistance to them.

This includes assistance to the regions. Many of them are lifting the temporary lockdown. People can visit public places or go on vacations. But we must not forget about the safety measures.

We will continue to send teams of medical specialists to the regions that cannot fight the epidemic on their own, as in the case of Dagestan.

We will continue the practice of high volume public testing. Moreover, we will extend the term for granting free test systems to government and municipal medical institutions until May 1, 2021. The relevant Government resolution has been signed.

Such diagnostics must be accessible everywhere and to everyone. There must be an opportunity to take a virus and anti-body test at any time and in case of the slightest doubt. If the disease is detected, the treatment must be started as soon as possible. And, early diagnosis is important for all other diseases.

The Government resolution on resuming the health survey has been signed. As you know, it was suspended due to the complicated epidemiological situation in the country. Decisions on starting it will be made by the heads of the regions depending on the situation on their territory.

Colleagues, I would like to hear your reports and discuss the decisions that you are making within your competence for countering the infection.

Ms Golikova, please tell us about the spread of the coronavirus in this country.

Tatyana Golikova: Esteemed Mr Mishustin, colleagues, good afternoon. I would like to start by saying that on 31 January  2020 you, Mr Mishustin, approved the national plan for preventing the import and spread of the new coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation. Of the 22 items in the plan, all have been fulfilled but one. We managed to organise this effort so as to avoid introducing a quarantine under a state of emergency. This is probably a rare case when a failure to implement an item in the plan turned out to be positive

This was made possible by the implementation of the scientifically substantiated forestalling strategy based on the continuous assessment of the global spread of the new coronavirus infection, analysis of the trends of the epidemiological process, modelling of epidemic scenarios, and the preventive measures.

The strengthening of sanitary protection at the border with China from the start of the epidemic there allowed us to prevent exponential growth in the number of infected people. If this had not been done at the very beginning, we would have faced a fairly serious spread of the disease in late January in the Russian Federation.

We have repeatedly talked about this, but I would like to repeat it because these are the main results of our work: the absence of the spread of the new coronavirus infection in Russia during two and a half months gave us time to re-profile beds for the treatment of coronavirus patients. The beds were provided with oxygen sources and other necessary equipment. The regions reported that they had 52,000 beds, of which only 25,000 were ready to receive coronavirus patients by the start of the epidemic. When it reached its peak, the number of beds exceeded 184,000. Almost 15,000 beds in 72 federal and private medical facilities were adapted to treating coronavirus patients.

Over 76 billion roubles were transferred from the federal budget alone for re-profiling and equipping beds at the federal and regional levels. The Defence Ministry and the regions built and opened hospitals in record time. In May, 17 new hospitals were opened in 16 regions. Now the Defence Ministry is finishing the construction of another two hospitals – for the Voronezh Region and the Republic of Daghestan. A hospital is under construction in the Pskov Region. The building of one more hospital is planned in the Republic of Tyva following the President’s instruction.

Large infectious disease hospitals are being established in the regions. Importantly, the quick deployment of field hospitals by the Defence Ministry in different regions made it possible to prevent the spread of the infection in their territory. The Emergencies Ministry deployed airmobile and temporary field hospitals as well as temporary accommodation centres in Daghestan, and the Orenburg and Samara regions.

The training of medical personnel was organised very quickly. Over 1.4 million medical workers were trained to treat coronavirus patients. In early April, medical aid for such patients was rendered by over 40,000 doctors, 142,000 paramedics and 25,000 medical attendants. Today’s figures are completely different: 131,000 doctors, 272,000 mid-level medical staff and almost 63,000 junior staff. 

More to be pasted soon…

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