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Russia, China to continue cooperation to combat coronavirus infection, says Lavrov

MOSCOW, April 28. /TASS/. Russia highly appreciates cooperation with China in combating the coronavirus infection and will continue it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday after an informal videoconference of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) top diplomats.

"We have the highest assessments of Russia’s cooperation with China in combating the coronavirus infection. We offered assistance to China’s Wuhan from the very first days of the infection outbreak and I hope that our contribution helped China cope with this threat rather quickly," he said.

Now, he noted, China is helping Russia. "As our leaders, Vladimir Putin [of Russia] and Xi Jinping [of China] have repeatedly stressed after their contacts, we will continue cooperation, strategic partnership in all areas and will pool efforts in combating this global threat," he said.

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. According to the latest statistics, over 3,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 211,000 deaths have been reported.