Mikhail Mishustin: “What matters the most right now is to reduce the infection rate and even out the burden the healthcare system is facing. It is essential that people in all regions follow the recommendations of public health officials and take responsibility for their health. Extra time off work is mainly an opportunity to take care of yourself and your close ones and avoid the virus.”
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks:
Good afternoon, colleagues,
The non-working days started in Russia last week, as announced by the President. Some regions started them earlier than others. There are also other public health measures that are being taken, primarily in places with the highest infection rate.
What matters the most right now is to reduce the infection rate and even out the burden the healthcare system is facing, so patients can receive the medical care they need.
It is essential that people in all regions follow the recommendations of public health officials and take responsibility for their health. The extra time off work is mainly an opportunity to take care of yourself and your close ones and avoid the virus.
Those who have received the jab have more choices when it comes to using their free time during lockdown, including the non-working days. As per the President’s instructions, these people can visit various events and locations by presenting a QR code. They can go to theatres or to museums, for example. By presenting their QR codes, people prove that they were vaccinated and have a vaccination certificate. The Government will draw up a list of such venues and the heads of the individual regions will be free to expand it. This will reduce the risk of catching the virus in public places.
The epidemiological situation remains extremely challenging. Many people have fallen sick. In keeping with presidential instructions, the Government is monitoring the daily statistics to ensure that hospitals and outpatient clinics have everything they need to treat these patients.
Most people with COVID recover at home. The Government has allocated additional funds, almost 11 billion roubles, to purchase medicines for them. This will buy treatments for about 2 million people. Under the President’s decision, coronavirus patients must receive these medications for free.
However, there are many severe cases. These people are treated in hospitals where doctors work around the clock.
Medical institutions need more oxygen as more people are hospitalised. This is the case for 50 regions. The Government will be there to support them. We will allocate more than 5 billion roubles for buying high performance oxygen concentrators, which can produce more than a thousand litres per minute. Of course, these devices are made in Russia. We will also cover delivery and installation fees from the budget.
Mr Murashko, we need to sign agreements with the Russian regions on these transfers to make up for the shortfall of oxygen in hospitals.
I am also asking the Ministry of Industry and Trade to continue its monitoring effort and anticipate demand to prevent critical situations. You need to act swiftly on all risks.
There is one more decision to this effect. The Government has allocated about half a billion roubles to medical oxygen producers so they can buy new equipment. These funds will partially offset the cost of new cryogenic air separation units, which are needed to ensure uninterrupted oxygen production and increase the supply to medical institutions.
What else is there to highlight? The President instructed us to increase the pace of coronavirus vaccinations across the country and enable people to receive booster shots. To do this, vaccination stations will work through the non-working days. We discussed this at the previous meeting of the Coordination Centre. At the same time, vaccination must be organised in a way that is convenient and safe, without any crowds.
Of course, we need to ensure that the Russian regions have the vaccines they need in stock.