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Meeting with Government members

September 29, 2020, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin held a meeting, via videoconference, with Government members.

The main subject on the meeting’s agenda was the development of mechanisms of state social assistance to citizens under social contracts. Minister of Labour and Social Protection Anton Kotyakov and Head of Udmurtia Alexander Brechalov delivered reports.

The meeting participants also discussed a number of current issues. In part, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova spoke about safety measures concerning the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus infection and medical workers pay. Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko reported on the work to develop the anti-COVID-19 vaccine and the seasonal anti-flu jabs.

Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov informed the meeting about additional pay being given to teachers for classroom management and provision of hot meals for primary school pupils.

Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev reported on the efforts being taken to eliminate the consequences of the floods in the Fast Eastern Federal District and the situation with fires in the Voronezh Region.

Head of Minstroy [Ministry of Construction and Housing and Utilities] Vladimir Yakushev spoke about the implementation of the federal project Creation of a Comfortable Urban Environment.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, Mr Mishustin, greetings, hello,

Let’s get down to work. Our main item today is about the development of mechanisms of social contracts and the experience of their implementation under pilot projects in the Russian regions. Mr Kotyakov will tell us about the work in this area, which is very important today. I am referring to the situation on the labour market.

But as we agreed we will first review current issues that are no less important.

I would like to ask Ms Golikova to start our meeting. As you know, until October 1 we have procedures for additional payment benefits for medical workers who treat coronavirus patients. I know that the Government has dealt with this issue. Moreover, Ms Golikova has met with representatives of the medical community. I would like to hear your proposals. Go ahead, please.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova: Good afternoon, Mr President,

Good afternoon, colleagues,

Allow me, Mr President, to say a few words about the developing epidemiological situation in Russia and some of the regions before talking about these payments.

To begin with, I would like to say that since September 21, the number of recorded coronavirus cases has increased to 8,232. The daily case rate has grown 1.7 times, from 3.1 to 5.5 per 100,000 people. The biggest increase is being recorded in Moscow. The national average for the disease growth rate is being maintained at about 0.5–0.7 percent. The number of regions where the average daily growth rate is over 1 percent has increased a little – from eight to 11.

I would also like to mention that the indicator for the spread of the coronavirus, or the so-called reproduction coefficient, stands at 1.1 percent in Russia today. This means that it has grown compared to three weeks ago. Today, this indicator is below 1 only in 41 regions.

Mr President, here is what I would like to emphasise. According to our polls, 80–85 percent were infected because they did not wear masks and took part in large gatherings. In this context, I would like to continue what you said at yesterday’s State Council Presidium meeting: if we do not want the restrictions we had in March, April and early May, we must strictly follow the current requirements. These include, of course, mandatory masks, social distancing and other safety measures.

The most important point is that this is necessary not only for taking care of oneself and one’s family, but also for displaying respect for medical workers that have been and continue fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines. It is important to bear in mind that due to the growth of the disease rate, available beds for COVID patients are at 31 percent as of yesterday. This means that capacity is being filled.

(Tatyana Golikova then spoke about disease detection numbers, clinical manifestations of the disease, the patients’ age, the situation at schools and universities, as well as payments to medical workers who work with coronavirus patients).

Vladimir Putin: Ms Golikova, regarding the situation that you described and the current coronavirus-related situation in the capital and the country in general, I would like to say the following. People are tired of the face masks and social distancing, especially the lockdown and restrictions at places of study and work, and I understand this.

However, odd as it may seem, people still do not always understand or believe that we in Russia and the world in general are facing a very dangerous adversary. Infections in general, infectious diseases, and COVID not in the least, are a quiet and invisible, but very dangerous adversary, a dangerous enemy. To reiterate, people often do not understand this, but you and I are well aware of it. So, it is the sacred duty of the professional community, executives of all levels, authorities and management, to explain to the people tactfully, patiently and persistently the real situation and offer somewhat light, but absolutely necessary, measures and means of protection.

I hope that we will continue to do what we are doing. I am referring to the fact that a while back I decided to transfer a sizable portion of competences in addressing COVID-related matters to the regions with the support from the federal authorities, including methodological, administrative and research-based support. So far, we have been successful with it. I hope we will stick to this mode of operation in the future as well.

The increasing coronavirus caseload in Moscow is not new. That was the case in the spring. But this means that, being fully cognizant of this fact, the regions must be ready for just about any scenario.

With regard to paying bonuses to medical workers, I am aware that you met with the medical community. You reported to me about this meeting. If they really think that the arrangement proposed by the Government is even more socially fair, please go ahead with it, I have nothing against it. However, payments under the existing rules will end in two days. So, we should prepare for this in the regions and in Moscow. Therefore, I propose keeping the current arrangement in October without changes, and then adopting an arrangement you agreed upon with the professional community. Let's take it from there. I want the Finance Ministry to work on this accordingly and provide the necessary funding.

Tatyana Golikova: Ok, Mr President. We will go over this arrangement again building on what our colleagues have proposed and come up with a decision based on their approaches.

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Agreed. Thank you.

Nonetheless, in addition to COVID, we have other problems related to the flu, acute respiratory disease and so on. I would like to ask Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko what has been done so far, as well as about progress in the flu vaccination campaign and work on developing a COVID-19 vaccine. I know we have also reached an agreement with our Belarusian colleagues – the Belarusian Healthcare Ministry has issued a permit to conduct clinical trials on our vaccine. Please tell us in more detail about the progress in your work and, of course, if the regions in the Russian Federation have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses and if more stock is on the way, including if there is a possibility that our other research centres might develop vaccines.

Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko: Good afternoon, Mr President, Mr Prime Minister, colleagues,

Today, here in the Russian Federation we have one of the most advanced systems for using immunobiological preparations, including vaccines, to protect public health. Last November we started introducing a system for controlling the quality of every batch of a vaccine at the government laboratories which have Russian and World Health Organisation accreditation. Also, Mr President, in keeping with your instruction, on July 1, 2020, we introduced a system for labelling drugs, so each vaccine packaging has a passport in the information system that corresponds to the quality control information issued by the laboratory or information on adverse effects, if any.

So far, 10 million flu vaccine doses for children and 24 million flu vaccine doses for adults have been delivered to the regions of the Russian Federation to all clinics and hospitals. About 25 million people have already received the flu vaccine, including about 10 million children. In line with the Healthcare Ministry’s order, all children from six months are subject to vaccination. The flu vaccine coverage we have today is almost 17 percent of the country’s population, which is about 5 million more people, or 24 percent more, compared to the same period last year.

With the regional supplies and employers included, the total number of vaccines will be enough to meet your goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the population. This is one of the world’s highest numbers.

The Government and the Finance Ministry have allocated an additional 4.1 billion rubles this year to buy more of the vaccine. Production is already underway, and the volume of the vaccine that was paid for with additional funds will be supplied on schedule.

In addition to permanent medical facilities, mobile medical stations are also operating in large cities to provide convenient access for people. They are connected to a single database and are equipped with information systems and the necessary means to provide help to patients, including blood pressure monitors, and the like, to measure a patient’s vital signs.

Mr Mishustin signed a Government resolution on September 28. This year, we introduced a new data entry system for our patients, including those who have been sick with the coronavirus or vaccinated, which will give us an idea about the immunity quality in the country.

The post-registration phase of observations regarding vaccination against the coronavirus infection is underway at Moscow clinics. More than 5,500 people have been vaccinated as part of post-registration observations. Everything is going as scheduled. We are the first in the world to create a unique system for tracking a patient's condition after vaccination. This is a combination of mobile app and a telemedicine centre that calls patients being monitored by medical workers.

We sent the first batches of the vaccine to all 85 regions. These are pilot deliveries, as we are dealing with a new supply chain. The preparations are stored at subzero temperatures. This was done to fine tune this logistics chain, to train personnel and to prepare storage systems.

I would also like to note that the system for monitoring vaccinated patients will be shared with the general database of recovered and vaccinated patients. That way, we will have accurate population data on the people who have immunity against the coronavirus.

Scaled-up production has been launched today. Generium has made the first batches of the vaccine at its production facilities. The batches have been sent to state laboratories for quality control and the company plans to continue expanding vaccine production. Another two production facilities will be opened. Talks are underway with the owners of two more facilities that are reviewing the scale of production and will launch it there.

I would like to note that the first doses of the vaccine have already been delivered to Belarus as part of our cooperation. Our Belarusian colleagues have allowed us to conduct clinical studies. We sent them to Belarusian medical facilities a week earlier than planned.

Now a few words about the registration of other medications and vaccines for preventing the coronavirus infection. The clinical studies of one vaccine made at the Vektor Research Centre are drawing to a close. The documents have already been submitted for expert evaluation. In addition, a permit for clinical studies has been issued for our well-known Chumakov Centre for Research and Development of Immunobiological Preparations, a world-class producer of vaccines, which supplies vaccines against jungle yellow fever to more than 80 countries. This centre has already launched clinical trials.

This concludes my report. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: When will they apply for registration?

 Mikhail Murashko: The documents for Vektor’s vaccine have already been submitted. They are completing the paperwork and sending the medication for pharmaceutical expert evaluation that can last up to three weeks. It will be followed by clinical trials. They must perform them on 200 people.

Vladimir Putin: Later, it will be necessary to launch an information campaign, to explain to people the difference between medications, tell them what is indicated for them and what vaccines are suitable for different age groups and people with other health problems and so on. This must be done by all means, but of course after registration.

Mikhail Murashko: Of course.

Vladimir Putin: All right. Thank you.


September 29, 2020, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region