Mikhail Mishustin: “The WHO predicts that the spread of the new strain may increase the load on the healthcare system and lead to a rise in the number of hospital patients. We are seeing what is happening in other countries. In some of them, there is a particularly rapid increase in the number of cases of the new mutation. We must be ready for any scenario and consider the experience of other states.”
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
We will discuss the coronavirus developments in Russia, in part, linked to the appearance of a new strain. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that the spread of the new strain may increase the load on the healthcare system and lead to a rise in the number of hospital patients.
We are seeing what is happening in other countries. In some of them, there is a particularly rapid increase in the number of cases of the new mutation. We must be ready for any scenario and consider the experience of other states.
Under these conditions, we must continue studying the strains that are circulating. The Government will allocate an additional 90 million roubles to our epidemiologists so that they can carry out genetic analysis. Timely research is necessary in order to prevent the spread of the infection, assess the efficiency of the PCR systems and develop vaccines.
Following the President’s instructions, the Government continues to monitor the medical facilities to make sure they have everything necessary to combat Covid-19. Our healthcare system has been overloaded with work for practically two years.
Coronavirus patients undergo different medical examinations, including X-rays. They are now conducted more often and the equipment wears out quicker. We decided to allocate 10 billion roubles to the regions for the repair and replacement of equipment used for checkups and for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The funds will be sent to 54 regions that will also be able to spend them on the purchase of expendable materials for hospitals and personal protective equipment for staff.
As for oxygen, in order to maintain reserves at the proper level, the regions need to be able to transport it to medical facilities. We will involve the Russian Foundation for Technological Development (RFTD) in the purchase of special transport for the storage and delivery of oxygen. The Government signed a resolution that allows it to finance such projects. This will allow it to purchase about 90 units of equipment worth 750 million roubles and resolve the problem of the oxygen required by our serious patients. There are still many of them in hospitals in this country, as well as those who prefer to undergo treatment at home.
Today, about 300,000 medical workers are taking care of Covid-19 patients. We will continue supporting the medical personnel working with coronavirus patients, in part, by granting them special social payments, introduced by the decision of the President. The Government sent over 50 billion roubles to make sure that medical workers received payments for November, December and January.
This does not include the President-initiated double payments for medical and social workers in residential care facilities. We will also provide them with funds.