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The scientist of the Institute assesses the current state of COVID-19 outbreak, as part of a WHO international team of experts.

From February 14 to February 26, 2020, at the initiative of the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a group of international experts was delegated to the People's Republic of China to independently assess the current state of COVID-19 outbreak and to generate recommendations for the China’s healthcare system. The representative delegation was comprised of experts from Russia, the USA, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the World Health Organization (WHO) and China. It includes Alexander Semenov, Deputy Director for Innovation of St. Petersburg Pasteur Institute.

The delegation of scientists held a meeting with representatives of several Chinese ministries in the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China, participated in a teleconference with the Provincial Governor and health authorities of Hubei Province (Wuhan). The experts visited a number of hospitals in several provinces of China, health service stations where primary medical care is provided, and quarantine stations.

After the negotiations, meetings, press conferences, and final meetings, experts generated a number of conclusions. They noted that COVID-19 containment measures implemented in China were unprecedented and can be an example for other countries. There are several options for the development of the epidemic after COVID-19 outbreaks in Italy, South Korea and other countries: 1.The epidemic chain will break and the epidemic will subside; virus will disappear from the population (as it had been with SARS) 2. The virus will remain circulating in the population as a seasonal one. 3. The virus will cause a second wave of COVID-19 epidemic.

Russian experts consider that the objective of Russia now is to gain time before possible outbreaks or even epidemic in the country, preserving all restrictive measures for several months. The time gained will allow us to have an increased understanding of the etiotropic treatment and already have the vaccine. Measures should be taken to monitor the high-risk elderly and immunosuppressed population (remote monitoring, patronage, influenza and pneumococcal vaccination). Prepare wards for mild patients with separate routing in a multifunctional hospital or hospital for infectious diseases. Prepare negative pressure isolation wards with oxygen distribution, equipped with mechanical ventilation devices for severe patients. Update clinical recommendations and training courses for health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19 disease as soon as new information becomes available. Improve current detection kits and develop new ones, including rapid tests. Increase capacities to produce personal protective equipment (PPE).

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