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BRICS Health Ministers review joint efforts during the COVID-19 era

BRICS Health Ministers review joint efforts during the COVID-19 era

On 11 November, under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship, the X Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Health under the theme “Era of COVID-19: Global BRICS Solidarity for Health Safety” took place via videoconference.

The meeting saw the presence of Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, Sergei Ryabkov, Russian Sherpa in BRICS and Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Eduardo Pazuello, Minister of Health of Brazil, Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India, Li Bin, Deputy Minister of the State Healthcare Committee of the People’s Republic of China, Mathume Joseph Phaahla, Deputy Minister of Health of South Africa, Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme.

 “The pandemic of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19 has shown that modern society is highly vulnerable to infectious diseases. For the first time in their history, the BRICS countries have faced such a large-scale and difficult situation – the spread of the new virus infection without instruments for pharmaceutical management of the epidemic in existence. BRICS is an appropriate venue for a joint search for effective solutions to global and regional issues. And today we have to not only discuss the main achievements of our countries on eliminating the new coronavirus pandemic, but also formulate our expectations from further action in this area,” said Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko.

The participants discussed best national practices on combating the spread of the new coronavirus infection and prospects for developing joint healthcare initiatives. The Ministers endorsed an Overview of the best measures taken by the BRICS countries to counter the spread of the COVID-19, which will also be presented at other international venues, such as the UN and the WHO.

The Ministers emphasized the urgent need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the regulatory bodies of the BRICS countries in the field of regulation of medical products for human use.

They also noted the importance of the agreements to strengthen the efforts of the BRICS countries to jointly counter TB and COVID-19, in particular thosereached following three meetings of the BRICS TB Research Network.

The Russian delegation suggested creating an Integrated Early Watning System for preventing mass infectious diseases risks in order to coordinate joint measures on their prevention, prompt response and substantial reduction of their negative consequences on public health in the BRICS countries.

Following the meeting, the participants agreed to publish, on the eve of the XII BRICS Summit, a Declaration of the X Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Health and the consolidate document “BRICS Countries measures taken in the field of healthcare to counter the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)”.