On December 16, Anna Popova, Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing of the Russian Federation (Rospotrebnadzor) chaired the Meeting of BRICS Heads of services responsible for ensuring sanitary and epidemiological well-being via videoconference. Delegations from all the BRICS countries attended the meeting, including Antonio Barra Torres, President Director of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa); Sujeet Kumar Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) of the Republic of India; Qinghua He, Counsel of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control of the PRC’s National Health Commission, and Tsakani Furumeli, Director of the Centre for Disease Control at the National Department of Health, South Africa.
The officials discussed a range of issues on preventing and countering epidemics, including the novel coronavirus infection COVID-19. “The coronavirus pandemic has again emphasized the importance of international cooperation in countering infections. Concerted efforts and the exchange of experience are of crucial importance for the effective and well-coordinated fight against the spread of contagious diseases. The Russian BRICS Chairmanship attached special significance to the issue of ensuring sanitary-epidemiological well-being. You are aware of our initiative to create a BRICS Integrated Early Watning System for preventing mass infectious diseases risks. We hope this will be implemented,” Ms Popova said in her speech.
The participants paid special attention to current global challenges related to other infectious diseases that continue to threaten sustainable development, including in the BRICS countries, and that require well-coordinated and joint efforts of the five countries.
Following the meeting, the participants approved a draft joint statement on the initiatives of the BRICS countries for developing international cooperation to prevent global infections, protectpeople from them and coordinate research on these issues.