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2 May 202017:12

Extract from the briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, April 29, 2020

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Coronavirus update


During the past week, developments related to the spread of the coronavirus remained alarming. The pandemic is still raging in over 180 countries. There are general estimates of international health organisations. They confirm this fairly worrisome trend. The total number of infected people is growing. As of April 28, it exceeded 3 million and continues growing. Let me repeat that these estimates are confirmed and verified by international health organisations.

Many countries have over 100,000 cases: the United States (their number is approaching 1 million), Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Britain and Turkey. The evolution of the sanitary-epidemiological situation has differed by country and region. A relative reduction in the disease and death rates was recorded in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the Czech Republic. In the US, there has been practically no change in the dynamics of the infection’s spread. Regrettably, as a result, tens of thousands of people have contracted the disease and many have died.

Work continues to help Russians who are stuck abroad.

Following the decisions and procedures of the Government Emergency Response Centre, the Foreign Ministry is taking an active part in helping Russian citizens return home as soon as possible. This work is being carried out with due account of the sanitary-epidemiological situation that is taking shape in this country and the real capacity to receive arriving people and put them in two-week quarantine. I am referring to the regions.

The practice of bringing people to their cities and regions of permanent residence is being developed. We note that regional governors have actively joined these efforts. The Foreign Ministry is receiving many requests of assistance, including from governors. The local authorities are drafting programmes to enable arriving people to follow all isolation procedures. In some cases, they even pay for return flights and help people get home from airports.

At the same time, the Government made decisions to grant material and financial assistance to those who are waiting to return home. For this purpose, the Foreign Ministry has established a commission on cash remittances. Thousands of Russians are already receiving them. Every day, we conduct this difficult, painstaking work. I would like to emphasise that this assistance by no means alters the goal of helping Russians return home.

According to official information of the working group of the Federal Air Transport Agency, about 250,000 people came home from March 20 to April 26. Since the quotas on receiving compatriots from abroad in Moscow and other regions were approved by the Government Emergency Response Centre to prevent the importation and spread of the novel coronavirus in Russia on March 31, over 14,000 have been brought home.

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