COVID-19: Russian, French Prime Ministers discuss joint research of coronavirus drugs

Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin 
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin held a phone call with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe on Tuesday, during which they discussed the joint work of the countries’ health ministries on the research of drugs and vaccines against the novel coronavirus, the Russian government’s press service informed.

"Mishustin and Philippe have discussed the possibility of organizing joint work of the Russian and French health ministries on the research of drugs against the coronavirus, on developing new treatment methods and testing new vaccines," the message says.

The heads of government exchanged opinions on the measures taken in Russia and France on combating the spread of the infection and on supporting the economy, including the aid to small and medium-sized businesses.

French PM Edouard Philippe
"The French Prime Minister has expressed gratitude to Russia for its aid in transporting French citizens from Russia back home and for Russia’s cooperation on transit cargo flights carrying medicine and medical equipment to France via Russian territory," the Russian government added. The sides have agreed to continue practical cooperation between the countries’ governments in this sphere and in other areas of mutual interest.

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus — named COVID-19 by the WHO — have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 1,900,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 119,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 453,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.

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