Message from Russian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Ilya Rogachev
- The world’s population is collectively facing the worst crisis, since 1945. How is your country coping with the situation? Please may you mention key measures and strategies that your government is currently adopting as well as noting the possible impact, of the pandemic, to your economy?
Answer: Today the fight against coronavirus pandemic is no longer just a healthcare issue. The pandemic has affected practically all areas of life & requires a comprehensive response. Realizing the scale of the issue, the Russian Government has adopted a wide range of economic, legal, sanitary & logistic measures. A special website had been created in Russia, where the information on steps taken by the Government to counter the spread of COVID-19 is published on daily basis. Our country approaches the matter of reacting to and monitoring of the developments in COVID-19 pandemic thoroughly and responsively.
In the context of global coronavirus pandemic, the Government of the Russian Federation takes all necessary steps to prevent the disease from spreading, protect the health of Russian citizens and render aid to the infected. Among the key measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading there are: air services shutdown, with the exception for particular cases, stricter border controls, introduction of nationwide non-working week, mandatory, two-weeks long, quarantine for all Russian citizens arriving from abroad. Meanwhile, Russian diplomatic missions around the globe, including in South Africa, work actively to support the Russian nationals who are temporarily staying overseas and facing difficulties in returning home.
These are the overarching actions taken by the Russian leadership in the area of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the health protection and safety of Russia’s citizens. As for the economic consequences of the pandemic, I believe that we are yet to assess the scale of the damage that both Russian and global economies will suffer.
- The world needs good news, perhaps more than ever before. As such, we would like to ask about your countries recoveries. Are you seeing recoveries and what is the recovery rate? Are there specific approaches, that your country is exercising to minimize new infections?
Answer: As I mentioned earlier, Russia has launched a special website containing all necessary and useful information, including the statistics on positive cases and recoveries. As of 9 April, there are 698 recoveries registered in Russia. For 24 hours, this number has increased by 118. Moreover, COVID-19 tests are being actively conducted in our country. Again, as of 9 April 2020, over 1 million tests were conducted in the Russian Federation. On top of that, Russia is expanding the production of personal protective equipment such as surgical masks and gloves. Yet the best news is, I believe, that countries remain committed to fight the COVID-19 threat, including by joining forces. This commitment and faith in our own strength will help us to suppress the pandemic like nothing else. As President of Russia Vladimir Putin said, “If we act wisely, stay organized and disciplined, we will make it through this complex phase in our country’s life with minimal losses”.
- The people of the Republic of South Africa have been greatly impacted by the negative effects of Covid-19. We are sure you have come to love this country and the African continent. Any words of comfort as well as solidarity, from your mission and your country, to the millions of South Africans in need of hope?
Answer: Dear South Africans! In these challenging times, please accept the sincerest words of support from Russia, Russian Embassy in South Africa and Russian people. We admire the courage of South African doctors, scientists, law enforcers and all who are at the “frontline” of the battle against coronavirus infection. Together with their colleagues from Russia and other countries of the world they bring closer the day when COVID-19 pandemic will be behind us. Russians and South Africans face the difficulties of life under pandemic together. Huge geographical distance separates our two countries but this is the only thing that separates them. Our peoples are bound together by the ties of long-lasting, time-honoured friendship and today we stand together in our struggle against COVID-19.
I send my sincerest words of support to all who got affected by this disease, deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those whose lives it claimed and wishes of good health to all the rest.