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Putin tells Russia’s government to ‘be prepared’ as new coronavirus goes global

Putin tells Russia’s government to ‘be prepared’ as new coronavirus goes global
As infections spread worldwide, Vladimir Putin has called on Russian officials to do all they can to prevent the spread of the new Chinese coronavirus in Russia.

The Russian president emphasized the goal must be to minimize human losses. So far, the number of confirmed cases in Russia remains at zero, but given the length of the country’s border with China and the extent of bilateral trade, it’s considered only a matter of time before the virus appears.

Following a meeting of officials, Putin said “regarding the new coronavirus… the question is how ready we are for this challenge,” while emphasizing that the Kremlin would do all in its power to put the correct procedures in place.

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“I assume that the government, the Ministry of Health, and Rospotrebnadzor [Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare] will do everything so that any unexpected events that come before us are not a surprise to the vast majority of citizens, everyone must be prepared,” he explained.

Earlier, newly appointed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved the creation of an operational headquarters to help combat the virus. The nerve center will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova and will consist of 12 people.

According to the latest data, the total number of patients affected by the virus in China has reached 5,974, and there have been at least 132 fatalities. Cases of infection have been reported in North America and across Asia. However, in Europe, only France and Germany have been hit, as of Wednesday afternoon.

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