Russian PM sees 2021 as likely ‘turning point’ in battle against COVID-19

Russian PM sees 2021 as likely ‘turning point’ in battle against COVID-19

The situation with COVID-19 is gradually improving and 2021 should become a turning point in combating the pandemic, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told the State Duma (lower house) on Wednesday.

"Now the situation is gradually improving, although certainly it’s too early to speak about a full recovery. This year should become a turning point in the victory over the infection," the prime minister emphasized.

According to him, this is the general responsibility of the authorities and a joint effort that continue unabated without any pause.

"In autumn last year and this spring at the height of the epidemic outbreak, we managed to avoid harsh restrictions. But certainly nothing would have worked out without the heroic effort of our people," Mishustin said, stressing that the country’s cohesion enabled Russia to stem the pace of the coronavirus’ spread.

"Today, I would like to sincerely thank everyone for that: both those who worked in the red zones round-the-clock and those who offered a helping hand to seniors and those who showed restraint," TASS cited him as saying.

Mishustin recalled that in his previous State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly in January 2020, Putin outlined a new sweeping program of social support, suggested that social guarantees be enshrined in the Constitution and pinpointed key priorities for the authorities, among them care for families and children, developing the economy and business, and supporting the regions.

According to Mishustin, in all these areas, Russia planned to achieve significant results within the framework of a tight schedule, but the pandemic compelled it to review its work priorities given the real situation and emerging threats in order to ensure the full implementation of tasks outlined by the president in this challenging situation.

The prime minister stressed that coronavirus endangered the lives of millions of people and in order to prevent grave developments, the government drew up a number of emergency measures upon Putin’s instructions, which required swift decisions and an almost round-the-clock effort. According to Mishustin, some decisions aimed at battling COVID-19 were often taken within 24 hours.

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