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Ill-wishers would prefer coronavirus disaster in Russia, says ambassador to US

Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said that the coronavirus pandemic can only be countered by joining efforts
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

WASHINGTON, April 1. /TASS/. Ill-wishers would like to see a coronavirus catastrophe in Russia, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.

"The entire world is facing a new mortal threat. It is evident that we can grapple with it only by joining efforts," the Russian Embassy’s press office said citing Antonov’s answers to the media.

"The scale of this threat is such that everyone has realized it is impossible to survive on their own," he stressed. "There have always been and will always be those who are questioning the necessity of cooperation even in the face of this danger. This irresponsible approach inevitably increases the pandemic death toll. Any delay in aid supply could become fatal for those who can be saved," the Russian ambassador said.

"Russia is also going through trouble. We also have sick people and deaths," the diplomat continued. "However, we started to close borders and take necessary and tough measures. We understand that ill-wishers would like to see a catastrophic scenario in Russia, but they only have to generate fake news and operate with conspiracy ideas."

According to Antonov, Russia has enough resources to donate aid to other countries more affected by the coronavirus outbreak. "Nobody can rule out the possibility that we might need help from abroad. We have friends ready to help us," the ambassador noted.

Johns Hopkins University, which calculates statistics based on the government, WHO and other official source numbers, reports that the US has more than 190,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, while over 4,100 people died from that infection.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities 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 850,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 42,000 deaths have been reported. So far, a total of 2,777 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 190 patients having recovered from the illness. The country’s latest data indicates 24 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public informed about the coronavirus situation.