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China to deliver 80 mln face masks to Russia in April-early May

The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry’s press office said that the deal was struck on April 1

MOSCOW, April 4. /TASS/. Russia has reached an agreement with China on deliveries of 80 million more face masks and one million protective suits in April or early May, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Alexei Gruzdev said on Saturday.

"They are monthly contracts for deliveries within April - early May of 1.05 million protective suits like Tyvek and 80 million three-layer masks," he said.

The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry’s press office said that the deal was struck on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that Russia had bought 37 million masks from China over the past week and had plans to purchase 55 million more which would overlap the shortage in regions. According to Manturov, daily shortages will be closed and a stock of face masks will be ensured.

The first batch of protective masks was delivered to Russia from China on March 23. According to Gruzdev, the ministry ponders over proposals on new purchases of personal protective equipment.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. To date, more than 1,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 53,000 deaths have been reported. That said, over 213,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

So far, a total of 4,731 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 333 patients having recovered from the virus. Moscow handles the bulk of the cases (3,357). The country’s latest data indicates 43 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.