MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said that the threat of coronavirus spread in Russia had been minimized.
"We are introducing prophylactic measures to prevent the coronavirus, this is our main motive. So despite the difficult situation outside of Russia, the threat of the infection spreading in our country has been minimized," the Russian PM said during a government session.
Mishustin noted that it is necessary to take into account the current risks and the threat of the coronavirus infection when planning the budget for 2021. He reminded that Russia had become one of the first states to close the borders with China due to the virus. Russia also established a task force to avoid mass spread of the virus on its territory. The prime minister stressed that all measures taken by the Russian government are justified, reminding that on March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially characterized the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic.
"We have decided to temporarily restrict flights to Italy, Germany, France and Spain starting March 13. Flights that will allow Russian citizens to return to Russia will continue," Mishustin said, adding that Russian government officials must cancel all foreign trips except the most urgent ones, recommending all government workers to avoid leaving Russia if possible. The number of public events organized in Russia will be reduced to a minimum.
"The most important thing for us is to protect our people, so this is why I am asking all Russian citizens to be understanding of the preventive measures approved at the federal, regional and local levels, namely in Moscow," Mishustin said. "I am calling on everyone to take care of their health and the health of those close to them, especially the elderly, as they are the most vulnerable to this dangerous disease."
In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. On March 11, WHO officially characterized the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. The disease has spread to over 100 countries. According to WHO, over 118,000 people have been infected with the virus globally, and 4,300 have died. The largest outbreaks of COVID-19 outside of China have been detected in South Korea, Iran and Italy. There have been 28 cases of the virus documented in Russia.