Mikhail Mishustin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
The situation with the spread of COVID-19 in our country is a tense one. The number of patients is growing, with over 20,000 new cases identified each day. Over the past two weeks, the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients has increased by more than 25 percent.
The Russian healthcare system does have experience in responding to various development scenarios. The regions of the Russian Federation are building up their bed capacity. There are now 217,000 beds for contagious patients.
The majority of COVID-19 patients take treatment at home with medical monitoring. At President Putin’s initiative, they are provided with free medications. Additionally, the Government will allocate over 5 billion roubles to the regions to buy these drugs. This will ensure that medications are available to more than 1.5 million people.
I would like to ask the Healthcare Ministry to do all that is necessary to see that the funds promptly reach the regions of the Russian Federation.
A no less important objective is to see that medical institutions have stocks of oxygen. Given the spread of the virus, the demand for oxygen has grown. The Government is helping the regions to resolve this problem.
We have allocated over 650 million roubles to buy oxygen concentrators for hospitals in 20 regions. Guidelines for providing these budget-to-budget transfers have been drafted as well. In addition to the purchase of the concentrators, it will be possible to use the funds to pay for their delivery and installation.
We have also decided to provide additional support to the Yaroslavl Region. A directive has been signed on allocating over 130 million roubles for repairs at an infectious disease hospital. The federal funding will help finish the work as soon as possible for a renovated inpatient facility to open as early as December and be able to accept patients, including COVID-19 cases.
The fight against COVID-19 continues all over the country. Doctors and other medical staff take care of patients virtually around the clock. Public health service specialists have very busy schedules. Russia operates over 1,100 laboratories that perform diagnostics, including for COVID-19. We maintain high-level testing to identify morbid cases quickly and to provide help.
But, of course, there is a lot hinging on a prompt response from the regional authorities. It is of critical importance to take measures based on the situation in each region and on recommendations from sanitary inspectors, and to ensure a vaccination capability.
According to WHO research, it is unvaccinated people who comprise the most serious COVID-19 cases. So today, vaccination is the best method to protect yourself and your relatives from the dangerous consequences of this disease.
Russia has created all the conditions for this. A massive vaccination campaign is in progress in keeping with President Putin’s instructions. Over 8,500 vaccination facilities, including mobile ones, have opened. There are mobile medical teams. All inoculations are free of charge.
Over 40 million people have taken the full course of vaccination including two jabs. But this is not enough to create herd immunity.