Russia would be find it very difficult to meet the domestic demand for virus protective gear without supplies from China and has decided to import a large quantity from the neighboring country, Industry and Trade minister Denis Manturov said on Sunday, according to TASS.
He said Russia was forced to make the move after some countries stopped supplies of medical equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“China is now helping us. We are buying protective gear from them in large amounts. If we did not have such a possibility, I would be frank, it would have been very difficult for us to swiftly react to growing demand from the healthcare system,” he said in an interview on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
According to the minister, many countries, including Russia itself, have banned exports of individual protective gear and medical equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“They have stopped exports to us. We too have restricted, or to be more precise, banned exports of individual protective gear and medical equipment needed to combat the infection. Naturally, we take this situation with understanding,” Manturov noted.
However, in his words, Russia continues to receive foreign-made components for artificial lung ventilation equipment which is being manufactured in Yekaterinburg.
Russia has already received 300,000 individual protective gear from China and will receive 1.6 million more by late April.
“We have signed [a contract] with our Chinese friends and more than 300,000 individual protective gear have already been shipped. About 1.6 more will arrive by the end of the month,” he said. The minister added that production of such gear has been organized in Russia and it is planned to put out 25,000 such outfits a day by the end of the month.