On 7 May 2020 Russian Deputy Healthcare Minister Oleg Gridnev chaired the Meeting of BRICS Health Senior Officials via video conference under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship.
Among the central topics of discussion were improving control and diagnostics of the novel coronavirus infection COVID-19 as well as searching for effective methods of treating patients with a confirmed diagnosis.
“We are gathered here today not only to discuss the main achievements of our countries in combating COVID-19 but also to formulate expectations of future actions in the field of infectious diseases. We must strengthen our cooperation in developing inexpensive and sustainable methods for testing infectious diseases, address the issue of vaccination and conduct global research in the field of treatments,” Deputy Minister Oleg Gridnev said in his opening remarks.During the meeting, the parties discussed topical issues on the current health agenda, including ensuring biological security of the population of the BRICS countries during the pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus infection, a general overview of the situation in the five countries on the implementation of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as the issues of interaction between national healthcare systems.An analysis of the experience of the BRICS countries in combating the spread of the noval coronavirus infection has shown that early warning and prompt response to threats related not only to COVID-19, but also to any other emerging infectious diseases are an important factor in safeguarding the health and lives of their people. In order to achieve this, the officials have agreed that it is important to strengthen international cooperation, within the framework of which there has to be a transparent and timely exchange of information.In this regard they also discussed the proposal of the Russian Side on the need to set up a comprehensive early warning systems for the risks of biological threats within BRICS. At the same time, with the feasibility of using the potential of the New Development Bank to finance joint projects to ensure the health security of the population of the five countries was determined, with an emphasis on preventing significant biological threats and the need to eliminate their consequences.
During the discussions, the countries also agreed to continue providing mutual support in activities to prevent and treat the novel coronavirus infection COVID-19, as well as to create favourable conditions for the supply of deliveries of medications and diagnostic materials, immunobiological preparations and medical equipment.The partners welcomed the proposal of the Russian Side to compile an overview of the advanced measures taken by BRICS countries to counter the spread of COVID-19 for further use not only by the five countries, but also by specialists from other countries.The decisions proposed by the meeting participants will be further discussed at the Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Health.