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BRICS health ministers summed up joint efforts during the COVID-19 era

13 November 2020
Министры здравоохранения стран БРИКС подвели итоги совместной работы в эпоху COVID-19

On 11 November, as part of Russia’s BRICS Chairmanship, the 10th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Health under the theme «Era of COVID-19: Global BRICS Solidarity for Health Safety» took place via videoconference.

The meeting was attended by Healthcare Minister of Russia Mikhail Murashko, Russian Sherpa in BRICS and Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov, Minister of Health of Brazil Eduardo Pazuello, Minister of Health and Family Welfare of India Harsh Vardhan, Deputy Minister of the State Healthcare Committee of the People’s Republic of China Li Bin, Deputy Minister of Health of South Africa Mathume Joseph Phaahla, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, and Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme Tereza Kasaeva.

«The pandemic of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19 has shown that modern society is highly vulnerable to infectious diseases. For the first time in their history, the BRICS countries have faced such a large-scale and difficult situation — the spread of the new virus infection without instruments for pharmaceutical management of the epidemic in existence. BRICS is an optimal venue for a joint search for effective solutions to global and regional problems. And today we must not only discuss the main achievements of our countries on eliminating the new coronavirus pandemic but also formulate our expectations from further action in this area,» said Minister of Healthcare of Russia Mikhail Murashko.

The participants discussed the best national practices on countering the spread of the new coronavirus infection and prospects for developing joint healthcare initiatives. The ministers endorsed an overview of the best measures taken by the BRICS countries to counter the spread of the COVID-19, which will also be presented at other international venues, such as the UN and the WHO.

The ministers emphasised the urgency of signing a memorandum of understanding on the regulation of healthcare products between the regulatory bodies of the BRICS countries as part of their cooperation in this area.

They also noted the importance of the agreements that had been reached on promoting the concerted efforts of the BRICS countries to counter TB and COVID-19, in part, following three meetings of the BRICS TB Research Network.

The Russian delegation suggested creating a comprehensive system in BRICS for early warning about the risks of mass infectious diseases and epidemics in order to coordinate joint measures on their prevention, prompt response and substantial reduction of their negative consequences on public health in the BRICS countries.

Following the meeting, the participants agreed to publish, on the eve of the BRICS Summit, a declaration of the 10th meeting of the BRICS Health Ministers and an overview of the best measures taken by the BRICS countries to counter the spread of COVID-19.