MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 29, 2020: A police officer in a face mask stands guard near Khoroshevsky Bridge at the entrance to the Serebryany Bor forest park in a north-west suburb of Moscow. The Russian government has announced a paid week off work (30 March to 3 April) for employed people and school holidays (21 March - 12 April), while Moscow's authorities have ordered the shutdown of restaurants, leisure facilities and other service industry businesses and urged Muscovites to self-isolate to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Forest parks remain open but the public are warned to observe social distancing rules. Sergei Karpukhin/TASS

The comprehensive measures taken by Russia to curb the coronavirus pandemic led to one of lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Monday.

“The Russian Federation has taken a comprehensive set of measures, which have prevented the exponential growth of COVID-19 across the country. In order to do this, we took a wide-ranging set of measures, including preventing people from going to work for one and a half months. Furthermore, we have carried out wide-ranging testing of the population. Every day 150,000 tests are carried out, and the number is increasing”, Murashko told the World Health Assembly.

According to the health minister, Russia also had a wide-ranging public information campaign to provide the necessary medical help.

“We have provided retraining to over 1.4 million medical specialists and we have added 130,000 specialised beds to our hospitals, including in intensive or critical care. We have also provided PPE to our staff although I admit that we have problems with that at the beginning. These measures have led us to have one of the lowest fatality rates in the world”, he said.

Russia is developing drugs to treat people on various stages of the disease, as well as the vaccine, Murashko said.

“We are working very hard on developing a vaccine and we hope to start clinical trials within a month or so”, he said.

Russia has registered 8,926 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours (9,709 yesterday), with the total count now reaching 290,678, the national coronavirus response centre said on Monday. The country’s COVID-19 death toll has increased by 91 (94 yesterday) to 2,722.

This brings the total tally to 290,678 (+3.2 percent) in 85 regions across Russia.

Source: Sputnik, May 18, 2020