ANKARA, June 2. /TASS/. Russia and Turkey will pool efforts to develop medicines and vaccines against the novel coronavirus infection, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Tuesday.
"I held talks with my counterpart, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko. Dr. Murashko noted they see the efficiency of the anti-coronavirus treatment we use. During the talks we passed decisions linked with our ministries. They will pool efforts to work on medicines and vaccines," he wrote on his Twitter account.
The presidents of the two countries, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, held telephone talks on May 18 and the Russian leader stressed the importance of cooperation in such areas as development of COVID treatment techniques and vaccines. Chief of Russia's sanitary watchdog Anna Popova said on May 22 Moscow and Ankara were ready for joint work to develop an anti-coronavirus vaccine.
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 6,383,800 people have been infected worldwide and more than 377,700 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 2,920,880 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, a total of 423,741 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 186,985 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia's latest data indicates 5,037 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.