Mishustin Praises WHO Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) responded to the pandemic in a prompt, professional and proper manner, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a meeting with WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge on Wednesday, TASS reported.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mishustin and Kluge greeted each bumping elbows to avoid shaking hands, following the WHO recommendations.

“The organization’s response to the pandemic was timely, professional and appropriate. Along with coronavirus, the WHO resolves crucial tasks in the healthcare field. We believe it necessary to enhance the organization’s efficiency, strengthen its resource base while ensuring transparency and accountability to international community,” the Russian prime minister said adding that Moscow stayed ready for constructive dialogue with the WHO to upgrade the system of international sanitary regulations and on other issues of mutual concern.

Mishustin pointed out that Kluge’s appointment as WHO Regional Director for Europe in February coincided with the onset of the pandemic.

“In fact, you have been working under difficult conditions since the very first days, at the forefront of the fight against this global threat,” he emphasized.

The head of government hailed Russia’s interaction with the WHO and its Regional Committee for Europe.

“Russia shares WHO strategic goals and consistently calls for support to the leading role of the organization in health protection and in sanitary and epidemiological wellbeing. As one of the world leaders, Russia takes an active part in global and regional activities aimed at combating coronavirus and attaches particular importance to WHO coordinating efforts,” Mishustin said.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials informed 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, over 31,800,200 people have been infected worldwide and more than 975,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 23,410,220 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

To date, 1,122,241 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 923,699 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 19,799 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.