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Meeting with Voronezh Region Governor Alexander Gusev

April 22, 2020, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region

Vladimir Putin had a meeting, via videoconference, with Voronezh Region Governor Alexander Gusev.

The Governor reported on measures to counter the coronavirus and prevent the spread of this diseases in the Voronezh Region. He said 211 cases of the coronavirus infection have been recorded; 30 people have recovered and seven people have died.

A total of 1,306 beds have been deployed for treating COVID-19 patients, including 984 beds that are equipped with oxygen supply equipment. By April 25, all 1,686 beds will be available, which conforms to Healthcare Ministry standards. Oxygen will be available for 1,180 beds. According to Mr Gusev, there is a short deficit of lung ventilators but large supplies are scheduled for May.

Mr Gusev described other measures to counter the coronavirus and reported on the funding allocated for this purpose.

The Governor also spoke about the operation of economic entities. The spring sowing campaign is taking place on schedule. A total of 42 percent of all planned areas have already been sown. Agricultural processing plants – there are about 150 of them in the region – are operating at a steady pace. The workers are safely protected from the infection.

Backbone industrial companies are also operating. A decision has been made to resume operations in companies with up to 50 employees in the processing industry.

The Governor noted that public transport is one of the industries affected by the new infection. It is necessary to upgrade the rolling stock. Mr Gusev asked the President to help with this. He also asked the President for support in building a regional infectious hospital. The start of construction is scheduled for 2021.

The President asked the Governor many questions about the time frame and financial investment required for this project and suggested taking a different approach to expedite its implementation. He suggested building a permanent fast-constructed facility. There are standard building types in the Defence Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry and in Moscow.

The President expressed his willingness to talk with any top executive in these departments. He immediately called Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Healthcare Minister Mikhail Murashko.

During the conversation, Mr Murashko was instructed to coordinate with the Governor and the Defence Ministry the construction in Voronezh of a fast-constructed facility based on one of the Defence Ministry’s designs to treat people with infectious diseases and to report on the cost of such project. The President asked the Defence Minister to order military experts to choose the best location for this medical facility.

To discuss the Governor’s other request about upgrading the rolling stock, the President called Transport Minister Yevgeny Ditrikh. The Minister reviewed the request orders from the Voronezh Region and confirmed that they would be fulfilled. The President instructed the Minister and the Governor to coordinate the corresponding issues.

Vladimir Putin also noted that the programmes concerning the rolling stock would also support the auto industry and reported that a meeting on the auto industry would take place next week.

In concluding the discussion, the President said he hopes that all plans on additional beds will be implemented efficiently and on schedule. Vladimir Putin said that people should see and understand that the region’s medical needs that depend on the authorities will be carried out and that they will always receive timely and proper assistance.

April 22, 2020, Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow Region