ASEAN 2020: Russia ready to boost cooperation in epidemiology

ASEAN 2020: Russia ready to boost cooperation in epidemiology

MOSCOW: The Asia-Pacific region has a very high rate of COVID-19 infections and Russia stands ready to share experience in the fight against the pandemic, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin noted that the Asia-Pacific region has over 20 million coronavirus patients, which makes up almost half — 43.7 per cent of the total number of infected people in the world, reports Vietnam News Agency (VNA) quoted him while addressing the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on Saturday.

As early as 2016, Russia put forward an initiative of developing anti-infection cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, he said, adding that its implementation allowed the region to establish coordination between epidemiological agencies, arrange experience and information exchanges, and start training specialists in this field.

“An advanced training programme was launched for epidemiologists from the Asia-Pacific region at a centre in Vladivostok, Russia.

“The operation of the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM) set up in Bangkok with Russia’s active assistance is also very useful. In May, the Centre hosted a command-staff exercise on fighting the pandemic which engaged defence representatives of the ASEAN nations and dialogue partners as well as World Health Organisation experts,” he said.

“The Russian side is open to further active joint work on the epidemiology track. We have much to offer in terms of scientific, clinical and production experience in fighting infections,” Putin said.

“We are ready to provide our partners with Russian test systems, reagents for coronavirus diagnostics, including free of charge. As of now over a million tests have been provided to over 40 countries,” Putin added.

Regarding the digitisation of the economy, he said Russia now ranks seventh in the world today in terms of people’s involvement in the digital economy. A large number of services and support instruments for citizens have already been transferred into an online format.

Russia welcomed the important and timely initiative of smart cities proposed two years ago by Singapore, which stipulated the application of advanced urban technologies in the Asia-Pacific nations, he said, adding that Russia could offer its own technological know-hows in this area.

— BERNAMA