On 1 April 2020, Russian Deputy Minister of Healthcare Vladimir Uiba chaired the Expert Meeting on Preparation for the Meeting of Health Ministers of SCO Member States via video conference.
The event was attended by healthcare specialists from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India was not represented due to the 21-day national lockdown in the country that began on 25 March.
The discussion focused on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, with emphasis on practical steps to counter the threat and protect the public in the SCO member states.
The participants gave an overview of the COVID-19-related developments in their respective countries. They exchanged data to gain a better understanding of ways the virus is transmitted in order to improve measures to curb the further spread of the infection.
Particular attention was paid to protecting healthcare workers from the infection as well as the development of educational programmes for organising safe work with COVID-19 patients or those with suspected coronavirus.
At the Russian side's initiative, a decision was made to draw up a collective document which would specify the measures being taken by the SCO member states to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in order to identify the most effective methods and positive experience in combating the coronavirus.
In his remarks, Vladimir Uiba emphasised that "COVID-19 is a challenge to the biological security of the population of the SCO member states and an issue that requires joint efforts by specialists at all levels."
Measures to halt the further spread of COVID-19 will be extensively discussed at the upcoming Meeting of Health Ministers of the SCO Member States.