Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for avoiding the mistakes of other countries and for making conclusions based on medical advice.
"It is vital now to avoid others’ mistakes, not learn on own ones, draw lessons and make conclusions based on the position of the medical and scientific community," the leader told a videoconference meeting on coronavirus developments and measures to prevent it.
"We are very carefully studying the situation and taking into account both positive and negative experience of other countries," Putin noted. "I reiterate, we have not passed the peak of the pandemic yet."
The president underlined that scientists, specialists and professionals whose opinion is decisive in drafting the necessary measures to tackle the infection are taking part in the meeting, TASS reports.
Putin pointed out that he would like to hear virologists. "We have now all become virologists, I think, the whole country," he joked. "However, the opinion of true professionals remains most important, because we, I mean authorities of all levels, rely in all our actions particularly on the opinions of people who dedicated their whole lives to this very difficult and important and responsible work."
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, roughly 1,350,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 74,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 286,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 7,497 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 494 patients having recovered from the virus. Moscow accounts for the majority of cases (5,181). The country’s latest data indicates 58 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.